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General Editor : 
REV. P. H. DITCHFIELD, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.S.L., F.R.Hist.S. 




T. M. FALLOW, M.A., F.S.A. 

Member of the Council of the Yorkshire 
Archaological Society 






[All Rights Reserved] 

Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & Co. 
At the Ballantyne Press. Edinburgh 











YORKSHIRE has an area almost equal to that 
of Wales, and everything connected with it is on 
a correspondingly big scale. Its Memorials are 
inexhaustible, and it has seemed the better plan to deal 
thoroughly with a few of them than to fill this volume 
with scraps of all sorts of topics. Hence in the Memorials 
of Old Yorkshire there is less variety than in some other 
volumes of the series. No book of this size could attempt 
the impossible task of covering the past history of York- 
shire, or of treating its Memorials with any degree of 
completeness. Certain subjects, such, for instance, as the 
notable one of the monastic history of the county, are 
not included in this book. This latter subject (a paper 
on which has been prepared) can only be dealt with 
at considerable length, and it has been decided to with- 
hold it for a companion volume, where, with other 
obvious omissions from the present book, it may find a 

The comprehensive and thorough manner in which 
many subjects are handled by the writers in the pre- 
sent volume, will, it is hoped, give a permanent value 
to it, and render it acceptable to all lovers of the ancient 



The Editor desires to express his gratitude to the 
authors of the various chapters, and especially to Mr. 
Keyser, who is widely recognised as the chief authority 
on the architectural details of Norman doorways, for the 
presentation of the fine series of Plates which illustrate 
the chapter he has contributed on that subject. 


Prehistoric Yorkshire . 

Roman Yorkshire 

The Forest of Ouse and Der- 

went, and other Royal Forests 

of Yorkshire 
York and its Minster . 

The Village Churches of York- 

The Norman Doorways of York- 

Yorkshire Bells and Bell-founders 

The Castles of Yorkshire . 

Beverley and its Minster . 
Yorkshire Folk-lore . 



F.S.A. (SCOT.) . . i 
By the Rev. J. CHARLES 
Cox, LL.D., F.S.A. . 64 

By the Rev. J. SOLLOWAY, 


SON, M.A. . .106 

M.A., F.S.A. . . .165 

SON, M.A. . . . 236 

By the Rev. CANON NOL- 
LOTH, D.D. . . . 265 

By Miss M. W. E. FOWLER 286 


York, N.W., showing Bootham Bar and the Minster Frontispiece 

(From a photograph by the Photochrom Company, Ltd.) 


Typical Pottery of the Bronze Age in Yorkshire .... 6 

Trench across North-west Rampart of Inner Fort, Castleshaw . 24 

(From a. photograph by Mr. W. H. Mitchell) 

Roman Forts, Burwen Castle, Elslack 28 

(Front apian by Mr. Thomas May } 

Road over Blackstone Edge 30 

(From a photograph by Mr. J. E. Booth, Littleborovgh ) 

Statue of Mars, York Museum 38 

(By permission of Mr. Oxley Grab ham) 

Tablet to Mithras, York Museum 42 

(By permission of Mr. Oxley Grabham) 

Interior of the Multangular Tower, York 56 

The West Front of York Minster, 1809 90 

Tower near Layerthorpe Bridge; Old House in Newgate . . 102 

Bracket to Doorway in the Pavement, now destroyed . . 104 

Door formerly in Jubbergate ; Doors formerly in the Pavement 104 

Kirk Hammerton Church from North-east 114 

(From a photograph by Mr. C. C. Hodges) 

Appleton-le-Street Church from North-east . . . .116 

(From a photograph by Mr. C. C. Hodges) 

Birkin Church, the Chancel and Apse 118 

(From a Photograph by Mr. C. C. Hodges) 

Sketch-plan of Birkin Church 119 

Kirk Hammerton Church, Chancel Arch 126 

(From a photograph by Mr. C. C. Hodges) 

Sketch-plan of Arksey Church 148 



Sketch-plan of Campsall Church 150 

Campsall Church, South-west 150 

(From a photograph by Mr. C. C. Hodges) 

Kirk Hammerton, South Doorway 166 

Thwing, South Doorway 170 

Danby Wiske, South Doorway 170 

North Newbald, South Doorway . . . . . 176 

Askham Bryan, South Porch 176 

Thorpe Salvin, South Doorway 178 

Etton, West Doorway 178 

Barton-le-Street, North Doorway 182 

Adel, South Doorway . . . 182 

York, St. Lawrence Extra Walmgate 186 

York, St. Denis Walmgate, South Doorway . . . .186 

York, St. Margaret Walmgate, South Doorway . . . . 188 

Alne, South Doorway 190 

Healaugh, South Doorway 192 

Wighill, South Doorway 192 

Fishlake, South Doorway 194 

Birkin, South Doorway 194 

Bray ton, South Doorway 196 

Riccall, South Doorway 196 

Stillingfleet, South Doorway 198 

Kirkburn, South Doorway 198 

Kirkstall Abbey, North Doorway . . . . . 204 

Old Malton Priory, West Doorway 204 

Nun Monkton Priory, West Doorway 206 

Sinningthwaite Priory. Doorway 206 

York, St. Mary's Abbey, Chapter House. Doorway . . . 208 

Kirkham Priory, Cloister Doorway 208 

Selby Abbey, West Doorway 210 

(All these from photographs by W. Adams &* Son and others ; kindly 
lent by C. E. Keyser, Esq. 



Yorkshire Bell Marks, &c 222 

Yorkshire Bell Marks, &c ' . . 226 

Yorkshire Bell Marks, &c . . . 230 

Yorkshire Bell Marks, &c 234 

Tickhill Castle (From an ancient drawing at the Record Office) 240 

Richmond Castle 246 

(From a photograph by G. W. Wilson &> Co., Ltd.) 

Conisbrough Castle 252 

(Front a photograph by G. W. Wilson &> Co., Ltd.) 

Pontefract Castle (From an ancient drawing at the Record 

Office) 256 

Beverley Minster, Exterior, from North-west .... 266 

(Prom a photograph by Mr. Charles Goulding) 

Beverley Minster, Interior, looking West 274 

(From a photograph by Mr. Charles GouZding) 

Beverley Minster, Choir, looking North-east .... 278 

(Front a photograph by Mr. Charles Goulding) 

Beverley Minster, Percy Shrine 282 

(From a photograph by Mr. Charles Goulding) 


THE prehistoric antiquities of Yorkshire are at once 
abundant and important; they comprise not only 
implements, tools, weapons, and other objects in 
flint, stone, bronze, and iron, but also earthworks, early 
roads, megalithic monuments, and rock sculptures. There 
are certain circumstances which have contributed to make 
the Yorkshire discoveries specially valuable. The wild, 
uncultivated condition of the moors, and, until compara- 
tively recent years, of the wolds also, has tended to 
preserve the ancient remains in their original state and 
position. In addition to this, Yorkshire has been pecu- 
liarly fortunate in having attracted the attention, not 
only of numerous collectors who have gathered and pre- 
served her antiquarian treasures, but also of archaeolo- 
gists who have systematically and scientifically examined 
the sepulchral deposits of past races, recording with pre- 
cision the character, position, and relation of the various 

Amongst the distinguished antiquaries whose names 
are most intimately associated with this investigation 
are Canon Greenwell, Mr. Thomas Boynton, and Mr. 
J. R. Mortimer of Driffield. The last-named, in the course 
of his long-extended researches, has opened nearly three 
hundred sepulchral barrows of the Stone and Bronze 
Ages, and more than sixty belonging to the Early Iron 

The prehistoric archaeology of Yorkshire is far too 
large a subject to be dealt with in any detail in a paper 



of this length and scope, but a few of the main charac- 
teristics may be noted. 

BARROWS. The barrows, or mounds erected over 
sepulchral deposits, have been referred to. 

In form the barrows of Yorkshire are either long or 
circular; but this division, which in certain parts of the 
country agrees fairly accurately with the Stone Age and 
the Bronze Age respectively, does not apply equally to 
all the Yorkshire barrows. The fact is, there was con- 
siderable intercourse between the neolithic race and the 
Bronze Age race. This is indicated in the funeral 
customs and in racial characteristics. 

Generally speaking, the Yorkshire barrows are bowl- 
shaped and conical, the bowl-shaped examples being more 
numerous than the others. Many have suffered a great 
deal from farming operations which, of course, have tended 
to level them. Probably many of the barrows on the 
wolds had originally an encircling mound or ditch, or 
both, at the base ; but generally speaking, these have been 
destroyed by the plough. Several barrows at Wykeham 
Moor, in the North Riding, and at Riccall and Skipwith, 
in the East Riding, are furnished with a ditch round the 
base, and it is believed that this method of enclosure re- 
presents another version of the same idea of defence or 
isolation as that shown in the circles of upright or leaning 
stones round barrows in other parts of the country. 

In size the barrows of the wolds vary to some extent, 
the usual dimensions ranging from 15 ft. to 20 ft. in 
diameter, and from I ft. to 24 ft. in height. This varia- 
tion of size, however, is hardly as pronounced as that of 
the barrows in other districts. 

As far as materials are concerned, it has been observed 
that these have always been such as could be obtained in 
the immediate vicinity of the barrow, and there is reason 
to believe that they were invariably obtained from the 
surface of the land close by. Sometimes the chalk obtained 


by the digging of the grave was employed in the building 
up of the barrow. The only foreign material ever noticed 
by Canon Greenwell in the Yorkshire barrows was in the 
form of slabs of stone used in making cists. 

A very curious fact about the Yorkshire barrows is 
that within the structure of the actual mound there are 
occasionally enclosing circles, made in one case with flint 
stones and in another case in the form of a circular trench 
in the earth. These circles were found to be not quite 
complete. The similarity of these broken circles, and the 
incomplete circles found in association with cup and ring 
markings in rocks, and also with the penannular rings of 
bronze and gold and other prehistoric remains, is too 
obvious to escape the attention of the archaeologists. 
Canon Greenwell regards this as an attempt by the super- 
stitious to enclose the spirit of the departed within the 
barrow : " They were intended to prevent the exit of the 
spirit of those buried within, rather than to guard against 
disturbance from without. A dread of injury by the 
spirits of the dead has been very commonly felt by many 
savage and semi-civilised peoples ; nor, indeed, is such 
fear unknown in our own times, and even in this country ; 
and it may well be that, by means of this symbolic figure, 
it was thought this danger might be averted and the dead 
kept safe within the tomb." 

A curious and interesting fact is pointed out by 
Canon Greenwell. 1 It appears that the south and the 
east sides of the barrows were preferred for interment, 
burials rarely being found on the north and west. He 
writes : " It is probable that the desire to face the sun 
guided them in this, as it has other peoples. The feeling 
still exists among ourselves ; for the prejudice against 
burying on the north, the dark side of the churchyard, 
is strong in most parts of England, and it is only where 
the crowded state of the burial-ground has compelled it 

1 British Barrows, p. 13. 


that others than unbaptized children and suicides have 
been buried there. The same rule has held in ancient 
times in other places. Nearly all the dolmens of Brittany 
have the openings between the south and east points of 
the compass ; and the avenues in the same country appear 
to have a like orientation." 

Another ancient custom which was in vogue when the 
Yorkshire barrows were being constructed, and has come 
down almost to our own times, is the throwing of flints 
and potsherds upon the sepulchral mounds, evidently 
with some religious or symbolic intention. The incident 
mentioned by Shakespeare in Hamlet, Act v. sc. I, 

" For charitable prayers, 
Shards, flints, and pebbles should be thrown on her," 

will occur at once to the mind, and there is every reason 
to believe that the same custom existed in very early times 
in Yorkshire, where bits of broken vessels of pottery are 
found in large numbers scattered throughout the barrows. 
These potsherds are sometimes fragments of the ordinary 
sepulchral pottery, but more frequently of vessels which, 
on account of their better firing and the absence of 
ornament, appear to be those of domestic utensils. Both 
flints and potsherds are found distributed throughout the 
whole of a mound, and in some instances in such quantities 
as to suggest the idea that the persons who were engaged 
in throwing up the barrow scattered them from time to time 
during the process. If the fragments belonged to vessels 
broken at the funeral feast, one would expect to find many 
pieces belonging to the same vessel ; but this is not the 
case, sometimes single fragments of at least twenty different 
utensils having been found in the same sepulchral mound. 

BRONZE AGE ANTIQUITIES. We may now briefly 
consider some of the antiquities of Yorkshire which may 
be classified with some confidence as of purely Bronze 
Age origin. 


These comprise implements and weapons of bronze 
and pottery. The former have been found singly and in 
groups, or hoards. Hoards may be divided into three 
main classes, namely: (a) Personal hoards, containing 
the property of an individual who had buried the objects 
underground for security, and, for some reason, never 
recovered the treasure ; (b} merchants' hoards, the stock 
of implements or weapons ready for use, and probably 
carried about from place to place for sale ; and (c) founders' 
hoards, consisting of broken or disused weapons, imple- 
ments, &c., collected for the purpose of re-melting, and 
often accompanied by moulds for the casting of fresh 

The special importance of hoards, as Sir John Evans 
states, arises from the fact that they show, within certain 
limits, what objects are contemporary. The chief points 
they prove are as follows : 

(1) Flat celts and knife-daggers, such as are found 
in British barrows, occur only very rarely in hoards. 

(2) Flanged celts and palstaves are sometimes found 
in association, but palstaves are often found with socketed 

(3) Tanged implements of any kind are rarely found 
with socketed specimens. 

(4) Tores, or twisted collars, are more often associated 
with palstaves than with socketed celts, and are mainly 
confined to the western counties. 

(5) Metal moulds and rough lumps of copper are gener- 
ally associated with socketed celts. 

These facts go to show that the flat celts and tanged 
implements, generally speaking, belong to the earlier part 
of the Bronze Age, whilst palstaves, socketed celts, and 
socketed articles generally are of later date. Hoards, 
again, are later than barrows, and metal moulds for cast- 
ing bronze objects also belong to the latter part of the 
period, the moulds of the earlier part having been made 
of sand or clay. 


Vessels of pottery are amongst the most important 
antiquities of the Bronze Age. 

Nearly every example of Bronze Age pottery found in 
England has been obtained from barrows, and the vast 
majority of it was evidently specially made for sepulchral 

All the pottery of the Bronze Age was hand-made ; that 
is to say, it was shaped by hand without the assistance of 
the potter's wheel, and much of it is composed of inferior 
clay and has been imperfectly baked. Ornament in greater 
or lesser degree was usually employed on the outside of the 

Sepulchral pottery has been divided into four classes, 
known as (i) food-vessels, (2) drinking-vessels, (3) cinerary 
urns, and (4) incense-cups, terms, however, which must not 
be taken as literally descriptive of the uses to which the 
vessels were applied. 

The so-called " food- vessels," of which large numbers 
have been found in Yorkshire, are somewhat thick in make 
and composed of coarse materials. They are found with 
both burnt and unburnt burials, and in several cases 
cremated human remains have been found within them. 
" Drinking-cups " are smaller, taller, and more cylindrical 
in form, and appear to be of somewhat earlier use, as 
they are rarely, if ever, found with burnt burials. There 
are several types of " drinking-cups," but generally the 
lower part, or body, is somewhat globular, whilst the neck 
is cylindrical or slightly funnel-shaped. Cinerary urns, as 
the name implies, were intended to serve as receptacles for 
the cremated remains of the body. In general shape they 
somewhat resemble "drinking-cups," from which the idea 
was perhaps derived, but they are of much larger size. A 
broad flat rim or lip, and a more or less constricted neck 
or waist, are constant features. 

EARLY IRON AGE. Yorkshire ^has furnished some most 
valuable remains of what is known as the Early Iron Age. 






This period, or stage, of culture immediately followed the 
Bronze Age, and was succeeded by the Romano-British Age, 
a period when historical records and inscriptions enable us 
to assign events to precise dates. 

The most characteristic thing about the Early Iron 
Age was, not the absence of bronze (indeed, it was very 
largely used throughout the period), but the presence of 
iron, especially in such weapons, tools, or implements as 
required sharp edges or points, and pliability combined 
with toughness, qualities which bronze lacked. Several 
of the swords, for instance, whilst having iron blades, were 
furnished with bronze hilts, guards, and scabbards. 

Perhaps the most remarkable remains of the Early 
Iron Age, found anywhere in this country, have been 
procured from graves in Yorkshire. 

In the] year 1897 a noteworthy sepulchral deposit, 
comprising a chariot burial, was discovered at Danes 
Graves, near Driffield. The discoverer was Mr. J. R. 
Mortimer, who has explored hundreds of ancient burials 
in the neighbourhood of Driffield. As this discovery is of 
special importance, a few details may be given. 

The remains comprised the iron hoops of the wheels 
and naves, and rings of bronze and iron belonging to the 
chariot and the horse trappings, together with two adult 
skeletons, probably the remains of the owner of the chariot 
and his charioteer. 

The occurrence of two human skeletons in one grave 
is a circumstance of the highest significance. It probably 
implies human sacrifice. The intention of chariot burial 
was clearly to make provision for the dead chieftain in 
a future state of existence. Chariot, harness, trappings, 
charioteer, in some cases a pair of horses, and trophies of 
the chase, such as wild boars and other animals, were 
buried with the body of the dead chief in order to minister 
to his needs in the next world. 

An interesting feature in this burial at Danes Graves 
was the presence of remains of the wild boar. Some 


antiquaries think (and there is much to support the 
opinion) that religious or superstitious beliefs were con- 
nected with this animal. A curiously grotesque figure of 
the boar appears on the fine shield found in the river 
Witham in Lincolnshire. Another one of iron, with bronze 
eyes, occurred on the celebrated iron helmet found in the 
Benty Grange barrow, Derbyshire. Three quaint little 
bronze figures of boars, evidently belonging to the Early 
Iron Age, were discovered at Hounslow, Middlesex. These 
facts, taken in connection with the frequent presence of 
the actual bones of the boar with the chariot burials, 
certainly point to the conclusion that the animal was held 
in high estimation by the people of this early period. It is, 
of course, possible that the actual remains of the animals 
in graves may indicate that food in this form was provided 
for the buried warrior, but such an explanation does not 
elucidate the figures represented in metal on the shield and 
helmet referred to. 

It is worthy of note, too, that the horse, which in some 
cases was certainly buried with the chariot and the warrior, 
was another animal held in considerable esteem, if indeed 
not more than esteem, by the Early Iron Age people. 
Hillside figures of the horse, represented in gigantic pro- 
portions so as to be seen from great distances, occur in 
different parts of England, and, judging from the well- 
known example at Uffington, Berkshire, they may be safely 
referred to a pre-Roman period. It seems probable that 
both the boar and the horse were treated with special 
veneration or esteem, if not worship. 

It is worthy of note that the Witham boar and the 
Uffington white horse are both treated in a conventional 
manner ; this is especially seen in the attenuated body and 
the grotesquely shaped head. 

Remains of other Yorkshire chariot burials have been 
discovered at Haywold, near Huggate, but unfortunately 
no care was taken to secure the remains ; and also in 
1888, during the construction of the Driffield and Market 


Weighton Railway, in a deep cutting between Middleton 
and Enthorpe stations. An ornamental pin or butt, of the 
kind often called linch-pins, was secured from the latter 
interment and is now in the possession of Mr. J. R. 

A chariot burial was found at Pickering, in the North 
Riding, in or about the year 1849. Curiously enough, 
although the general form of the chariot, the tires of the 
wheels, and even traces of the pole (7 ft. in length) were 
found in an entirely undisturbed condition, no bones or 
other trace of human or animal interment were found, and 
it has been suggested, with considerable probability, that 
the actual grave still remains unexplored. 

The special honour given to particular animals is well 
shown in the sepulchral mounds of other districts besides 
Yorkshire. In the barrows of the north of Staffordshire 
remains were found which pointed to the careful interment 
of the heads of oxen. In the remarkable barrow at 
Swinscoe, called Top Low, the skeleton of a young hog 
was buried in a separate place and enclosed in a stone 
cist specially constructed to receive it. 

In some cases beautifully enamelled bridle-bits of bronze, 
as well as articles for personal ornamentation, have been 
found with Early Iron Age interments. A splendid example 
of a horse-bit, ornamented with enamel, was found at Rise, 
near Hull, and is now in the national collection at the 
British Museum. Another example, but less ornate and 
unadorned with enamel, was found in a barrow at Arras, 
near Market Weighton, many years ago. 

The barrows at Arras and Hessleskew have furnished 
other remarkable examples of skilful and tasteful work- 
manship. Glass beads with various ornamental features, 
and brooches and pendant ornaments encrusted with slices 
of coral, are amongst the many beautiful relics taken from 
these graves. 

Stanwick, in the North Riding, has furnished a large 
number of metal objects, some for personal decoration, 


including an S-shaped and enamelled ibrooch, and several 
fittings for the chariot and horse-harness. 

From what has been shown in this brief article it will 
be generally admitted that the impression produced by a 
study of the prehistoric monuments and remains of York- 
shire is one of surprise that, at such a remote period, the 
arts of civilisation had reached a decidedly advanced stage. 
The skill involved in making the fine bronze-castings of the 
Bronze Age, and the splendid enamels of the Late Celtic 
period, was of a very high order. It will be noted that in 
both these arts the most remarkable amount of skill was 
expended upon objects of ornamental rather than utilitarian 

One understands the savage exercising and developing 
his utmost powers in producing a specially useful fish- 
hook or arrow, or a trenchant and well-balanced sword. 
These were essential for procuring food, and for successful 
conflict with foes. One understands the skilful efforts of 
the mediaeval castle-builder, who constructed his stronghold 
with curious ingenuity in the matter of choice of situation, 
selection of material, planning and elevation, so as to with- 
stand unwelcome visitors or treacherous intruders. But in 
the prehistoric achievements of the men of Yorkshire we 
find an extremely advanced state of proficiency in the pro- 
duction of partially or purely ornamental objects. 

It is a peculiarly interesting fact that a county so large, 
so wealthy, so cultivated, and so rich in intellectual endow- 
ments as Yorkshire unquestionably is, should have shown 
so early a skill in the metallurgical arts, and an inclination 
towards refinement, which at the present time comprise at 
least two elements of the county's greatness. 


IT is not intended in this paper to relate in detail the 
history of the Roman conquest of Yorkshire, but 
rather to point out some memorials of the Roman 
occupation still to be found in modern Yorkshire, a 
county which Professor Haverfield described as one of 
extraordinary interest, and perhaps the most interesting 
county in England for its Roman remains. 

At the time of the Roman invasion, Yorkshire formed 
part of the district lying between the Humber, the Mersey, 
and the present border of Scotland, occupied by the fierce 
and warlike confederation of tribes known by the name 
of " Brigantes." 

The county was difficult of access, and only sparsely 
populated. The great central plain of York, lying between 
the eastern wolds and the hills and dales of the western 
and north-eastern moors, and extending to the borders 
of Derbyshire, was a huge woodland waste, extending to 
the Walls of York. The district around Leeds, after- 
wards known as the Saxon kingdom of Elmete, was a 
vast forest stretching to the head waters of the rivers 
on the west and filling all the valley bottoms with a 
dense scrub. The south-eastern portion of the county, 
into which the Don, Idle, and Trent poured their un- 
regulated waters, was an impassable morass, along the 
western side of which ran a line of British entrench- 
ments (still to be traced) from Wincobank to Mexbrough. 
The western moors and dales on the slopes of Blackstone 
Edge and Stanedge, forming the boundary between the 


present Yorkshire and Lancashire, were so bleak and 
desolate that they were in after ages known as " Desert." 
Here and there on the banks of the rivers were settle- 
ments of the inhabitants, communicating with each other 
by narrow and devious tracks. The bulk of the popula- 
tion was not, as now, gathered in the West Riding, but 
was settled on the eastern wolds, where the streams 
break out and run into the valleys below. 

The period when the Romans first appeared in York- 
shire cannot be accurately determined. The better opinion 
seems to be that the real conqueror was Petilius Cerialis, 
the Imperial Legate (A.D. 71-75), who, advancing from 
Lincoln across the Humber, " struck terror into the enemy 
by an attack upon the Brigantes, who were reputed to 
compose the most populous state in the whole province. 
Many battles were fought, some of them attended by much 
bloodshed, and the greater part of the Brigantes were 
either brought into subjection or involved in the ravages 
of war." l 

But the work of completing the conquest of the 
Brigantes and of consolidating the Roman power was 
done by C. Julius Agricola, Imperial Legate A.D. 78-84, 
who, as we are informed by his son-in-law, Tacitus, in- 
structed the conquered tribes in the art of building houses, 
temples, and places of public resort, and taught the sons 
of their chiefs the liberal sciences, and the Roman language, 
customs, and manners. But there is another side of this 
picture of Romanisation. ..." The Romans indeed felled 
forests, laid out roads, embanked rivers, and constructed 
causeways ; but the real work fell upon the ill-clad and 
half-starved Britons who groaned under the burden of 
felling trees, opening quarries, and carrying stones, and 
complained that their lives were worn out in the service 
of their rigorous taskmasters." 

No lapidary inscription in Yorkshire referring to 

1 Tacitus, Agricola, ch. xvii. 


Agricola has been found, but from the list 01 Brigantian 
towns preserved to us in the Geography of C. Ptolemy 
(circa A.D. 138) we may assume that Agricola selected the 
most suitable British sites, such as are now represented 
by York, Malton, Ilkley, and Aldborough for Roman 

The Romans have left us few notices of the internal 
affairs of Britain, and for many years subsequent to the 
departure of Agricola, Britain is scarcely noticed by his- 
torians until the arrival of the Emperor Hadrian in 
person (A.D. 120), and from that period to the final de- 
parture of the Romans, the lapidary and literary notices 
of their occupation are few and far between, notwith- 
standing that Eboracum (York) was not only the chief 
seat of civil government, but the headquarters of the 
Roman military power for the greater part of three 
hundred years. 

Unlike the southern and eastern parts of Britain, the 
Caledonian and Welsh tribes were never thoroughly sub- 
dued, and were always more or less in a chronic state 
of feud; indeed we read of a rebellion of the Brigantes 
so late as the reign of Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161). 
To keep the northern tribes in check, and to protect the 
lowlands from invasion, the Emperor Hadrian constructed 
the great mural fortification extending from the Tyne to 
the Solway and commonly known as "the Wall." The 
disposition of the Roman forces in Britain, at all events 
after the reign of Hadrian, was wholly with a view to 
the defence of the northern and western frontiers. " The 
Wall" was defended by numerous bodies of Auxiliaries, 
but the Legionaries were placed in the rear at York and 
Chester (Deva). 

To facilitate the movements of the troops from the 
south to " the Wall," the Romans constructed three prin- 
cipal lines of roads (the modern railways of the east and 
west coasts and Midland lines follow in the main the 
directions of these roads). The western line was the 


famous road known as "Watling Street," running from 
Richborough (Ritupse) across England to Chester and 
thence by Aldborough (Isurium) to Carlisle and the Wall. 
The eastern line was the western branch of the road 
commonly called "The Ermine Street," from Lincoln 
(Lindum) to York by way of Doncaster (Danum). A 
third legionary road led from Lincoln to Winteringham, 
and crossing the Humber to Brough, proceeded by an 
ancient British way to Malton and thence to the Wall, 
throwing off a branch to York by Kexby at Stamford 
Bridge ; but all the military forces for the Wall (at all 
events after the rise of York) passed along the road 
from Isurium (Aldborough) to Catarractonium, where the 
road divided, one branch proceeding by Lavatrae (Bowes) 
to the western, and the other by Pierce Bridge to the 
eastern part of the Wall. 

THE ROADS. Perhaps the most enduring monuments 
of Roman occupation are the Roman roads. They have 
in some instances been continued as public roads, or 
incorporated with modern turnpikes. The road from Castle- 
ford to Aberford is an example of the former ; and the road 
from Aldborough to Catterick, called Leeming Lane, of the 
other. Many of the roads mentioned by Horsley, Drake, 
Stukeley, and Whitaker have ceased to exist, and with the 
exception of the road over Blackstone Edge and of the 
road between Barnsdale Bars and Bodies, near Doncaster, 
it may be safely asserted that little of the Roman roads 
not incorporated with public roads now remains. 

Several degrees or kinds of roads appear to have been 
made. There were first the great military (legionary) 
thoroughfares, such as Watling Street and the Ermine 
Road, forming direct communication between Ritupae and 
the Wall. Then there were subsidiary military ways which 
are not always mentioned in the Itinerary, such as the 
road over Blackstone Edge, between Manchester and Ilkley. 
Also cross or vicinal ways between various stations, branch 


roads, private roads, county roads, and bye-roads (device). 
The cross roads were lines of communication between 
the legionary ways, and generally the shortest line that 
could be drawn. It has been suggested that some of these 
cross ways and vicinal branches were not intended for 
military, but for commercial purposes, inasmuch as they 
were not constructed in so durable a manner as the prin- 
cipal ways, and for that reason have been more generally 
ruined and lost, yet they were often sufficiently good to 
leave distinct traces down to the present time. 

There are few Roman roads existing which do not in 
some way or other vary from the description of a road 
given by Vitruvius ; l some are entirely without the nucleus, 
in others there was no statumen. Probably the legionary 
ways and some of the more important subsidiary ways were 
constructed on the lines laid down by Vitruvius, but others 
were not paved, but constructed of gravel or other local 
material strengthened by cobbles and small stones. York- 
shire possesses specimens of both kinds of roads, and 
perhaps the most perfect specimen of a paved Roman road 
in England is to be found on the road hereinafter described 
(from Aldborough to Manchester over Blackstone Edge), and 
the finest specimen of an unpaved road is near Adwick le 
Street, where one of the most conspicuous and best existing 
remains of a Roman road in Yorkshire is to found. 

On all the great Roman roads the distances were 
marked out with the greatest care, and at the end of each 
" mille passus," or Roman mile, was erected a miliary 
column, or milestone (milliarium), with an inscription, in- 
dicating the distance from the last town. These milestones 
usually consisted of a large plain cylinder of stone raised 
on a base ; the inscription (probably in red lettering) stated 
the name of the emperor under whose reign it was erected. 
Very few of these milestones have been preserved, and 
fewer still are to be found in situ. 

1 Wright, The Celt, Roman, and Saxon, ?th edit., p. 221, has fully 
described the construction of a Roman road. 


Three have been found in Yorkshire ; one bearing the 
names of the joint Emperors Callus and Volusianus (circa 
A.D. 253) was found by the side of the Roman road near 
the George Inn at Greta, inscribed " To the Emperors, our 
Lords Gallus and Volusianus (A.D. 25 1-3)." * 

Another milestone, a block of sandstone about 5 feet 
long and 10 inches in diameter, was found at Castleford 
in 1880 close to the Roman road and at a depth of 3 
feet. It was erected in the reign of the Emperor Decius 
(A.D. 249), and (a) inscribed to him, and after his death 
appears to have been inverted and an inscription (b} to his 
successors, the joint Emperors Gallus and Volusianus, cut 
on the other end. In September 1897 Professor Haverfield 
purchased the stone and presented it to the Leeds Museum. 
The inscriptions are given by him as follows : 

(a) Imp(eratore), C(esare), C. M(essio), Q(uinto), Decio 
p(io), f(elici), Aug(usto), et C. M(essio), Q(uinto, Etru[s]co. 

(b) Imp(eratoribus), C(aesaribus), C. Vibio Gallo et C. 
V(ibio), Volusiano p(iis), f(elicibus), Aug(ustis), Eb(uraco), 
m(illia), p(assuum) XX. 

Mr. Haverfield in his paper 2 says : 

' ' The indication of distance from York is interesting. By the line of 
the Roman road through Tadcaster to Aberford, the distance from York to 
Castleford is about twenty English miles. The Itinerary gives twenty-one 
Roman miles. The Roman mile was a trifle shorter than the English mile, 
so that the agreement is fairly close. It will be even closer \ r we assume 
that our milestone was the twenty-second, and that the twenty-first mile- 
stone stood half a mile north of Castleford ' station ' just as this stands half a 
mile south. In that case, the actual distance from York to Castleford would 
have been, by the Roman road, twenty-one and a half Roman miles." 

A third milestone is preserved in the old Manor House 
at Aldborough. The inscription runs : " To the Emperor 
Caesar Caius Messius Quintus Trajanus Decius, the good, 

happy, and great ; from C twenty miles." The blank 

after C has been proposed to be filled up by Calcaria 

1 Cough's Camden, vol. ii. p. 339. 

2 " The Roman Milestone found at Castleford." 


(Tadcaster), or Cattaractonium (Catterick). Decius was 
slain in battle A.D. 251. 

Yorkshire is covered by a network of Roman roads, 
many of which can still be traced. Three at least of the 
legionary roads crossed Yorkshire, and it is necessary to 
give some account of them. Our chief authorities for these 
military routes are the Itinerary of Antoninus for the earlier 
period of the Roman conquest, and the Notitia for the 
period immediately preceding the final abandonment of 
Britain by the Romans. 1 

The Itinerary omits certain stations, such as Greta 
Bridge and Pierce Bridge, and omits to notice several roads, 
such as the one over Blackstone Edge, and Wade's Cause- 
way over the moors between Malton and Sandsend. Some 
places are called by different names and the distances 
between stations do not agree with the actual distances, 
but, making allowances for omissions and for probable 
errors in transcriptions, it is our best authority for the 
direction of the roads and the sites of the stations of the 

The principal roads passing through Yorkshire are the 
first, second, and fifth Iters. Although in the majority of 
cases the Roman roads centred in York, it is somewhat 
remarkable how the legionary roads in the early times 
seem to have avoided York. 

THE FIRST ITER. Taking the Itineraries so far as 
they relate to Yorkshire in the order in which they appear, 
the first Iter is entitled " From the limit (i.e. the Roman 
Wall) to the Pnetorium 156 miles." 2 

1 The Itinerary is a sort of working road-book compiled circa A.D. 138- 
140 (some authorities place the date much later), and contains a list of 
the chief military roads with the names of the several stations thereon, and 
an approximate measurement of the distances between each station. The 
Notitia was a sort of military return of the troops stationed in Britain 
shortly before the withdrawal of the Romans. It is valuable as giving the 
disposition of the Roman auxiliaries in Britain. 

2 The sum of the distances usually given is 150 M.P., but it does not 
agree with the total of the miles at the head of the Iter. 



The Iter enters Yorkshire at Pierce Bridge on the Tees, 
where it crossed the river by a ford. No station at Pierce 
Bridge is named in the Itinerary, but from the Notitia 
we find that shortly before the Romans finally abandoned 
England, a detachment of " Pacenses " was stationed at 
Pierce Bridge. Various antiquities have been found on 
the site, and in particular a Roman bronze 1 representing 
a plough of primitive construction, drawn by oxen ; the 
figure of the ploughman probably gives a correct picture of 
the costume of a Roman-British peasant. The Iter after 
crossing the river continued in a straight line to a place 
now called Scotch Corner, where the western branch of 
Watling Street from Carlisle, forming the second Iter, fell 
into the road, and the joint Itinera proceeded to Catterick. 
For the greater portion of the distance the Roman and 
modern roads coincide, though the stones have been nearly 
all taken to mend the modern road. 2 

The next station on the Iter was Catarractonium (Catte- 
rick), mentioned by Ptolemy as one of the towns of the 
Brigantes. The site of the station has been ascertained 
to be Thornborough, about half a mile west of Catterick 
Bridge, where a portion of a wall about 90 yards long and 
5 feet high has been cleared and partly rebuilt (for the sake 
of preservation). Recent excavations have shown that the 
station was a walled camp like that at York, about 240 by 
175 yards, and included a site of about 9 acres. Within 
or near this enclosure, various sculptured stones have been 
found, but there does not seem to be any foundation for the 
statement attributed to Bede that the Romans had a mint 
at Catarractonium or in fact at any place in Yorkshire, 
though moulds for forging coins have been found. The 
Roman road from Catterick to Aldborough does not coin- 
cide altogether with the modern road, but follows in the 
main the line of Leeming Lane, no part of it being more 

1 Figured in Wright's The Celt, Roman, and Saxon, 5th edit., p. 256. 

2 Archaeological Journal, vol. vi. p. 217. 


than a mile away from a straight line. 1 From Aldborough 
the road went to York, but is now lost. From York the 
first Iter is said to have proceeded to " Derventione Delgo- 
vitia et Praetoria." The sites of these places are lost. 
Much learned ingenuity has been expended in discussions 
thereon, but all we can say with Horsley is that " the 
first station, Derventio, must have been somewhere on the 
Derwent." Praetorium has been placed at Whitby, Dunsley, 
Bridlington, Patrington, and Brough Ferry on the Humber, 
and by Horsley at Ebberstow in Lincolnshire. A road 
has been traced to Stamford Bridge, climbing the wolds 
at Garrowby Street, and through Fimber and Sledmere 
in the direction of Filey, and another road in the direc- 
tion of Bridlington (a candidate for the " Gabrantvicorum 
Sinus," the " well-havened bay" of Ptolemy), leaving the 
former road near Fridaythorp, and pointing to Rudstone, 
where a Roman pavement has been found. If the latter 
route is the first Iter, then Stamford Bridge is Derventio 
and Bridlington Praetorium. On the strength of a sup- 
posed Roman inscription, Filey has been claimed to 
be Praetorium, but there seems no solid foundation for 
the claim, though Roman remains have been found 
there. 2 

The weight of authority is in favour of Brough on 
the Humber being Praetorium, and some authorities have 
also placed the Petuaria of Ptolemy there. Roman re- 
mains have been found at Brough opposite to Wintering- 
ham, where the great Roman road, Ermine Street, from 
Lincoln vid Broughton (Ebberstow) descended to cross 
the Humber on its way to York. During the remarkably 
dry summer of 1826, when the Humber was very low, 
the remains of raised causeways or jetties stretching out 
into the river, from both Winteringham and Brough, similar 

1 Codrington, 2nd edit., p. 174. 

2 See Remarks on the Discovery of Roman and British Remains at Filey. 
By W. S. Cortis, 1858. 


to the one in the Trent at Littleborough and apparently 
of Roman construction, were discovered. 1 

There are traces of two routes from Brough : one vid 
South Cave and Drewton (where the road has been dug 
up), Goodmanham, Londesbrough Park, Warter, Millington, 
to Garrowby Road and thence to Malton ; and the other 
running from the first near Market Weighton, by Thorp 
le Street, Barmby Moor (where in 1892 a road fifteen feet 
wide was found a foot below the surface), Kexby Bridge, 
Scoresby, and Heslington, to York. Roman remains have 
been found at each of the places named. 

THE SECOND ITER. The second Iter both begins 
and ends with a boundary, and is best known by its 
mediaeval name of Watling Street. Whether Watling 
Street in its origin is a British or a Roman road is not 
easy to determine ; the better opinion seems to be that it 
is a continuation of the old Roman road, which the Anglo- 
Saxons adopted and kept in repair. Watling Street 
crosses and re-crosses the kingdom, and represents the 
old zigzag route from Kent to Chester, Manchester, York, 
and Newcastle, with a branch from Catterick to Carlisle. 
The term " Watling Street " is misapplied to other roads 
than the above, e.g. to the Roman road from Ilkley to 

This Iter entered Yorkshire at Rey Cross where there 
is a large camp, probably British in its origin and adopted 
by the Romans, which General Roy thinks was at one 
time occupied by the sixth legion. Part of the rampart 
has subsided into the peat, and part has been injured by 
excavations, but it still remains in size the third largest 
Roman camp in the Yorkshire district. 

The first station in Yorkshire was Lavatrae (Bowes). 
The remains of the camp can be readily found, as the 
castle and the church of Bowes stand on the north part 

1 Archdeacon Trollope's paper on " The Ermine Street or Old Roman 
Road." 1868. 


near its western boundary. The area of the camp is about 
130 by 140 yards, and its ditches may be traced to the 
north and west and partly to the east. The Roman 
occupation is testified by the remains of a bath at the 
south-east angle, and by numerous inscriptions and altars 
found here. Camden records one to the honour of the 
Emperor Hadrian, and another by the propraetor or 
governor of Britain, Virius Lupus, commemorating the 
repair of a bath for the first Thracian cohort in the 
time of ,the Emperor Severus. The bath had been de- 
stroyed by fire. 

The next camp on the road was at Greta Bridge, 
where, on a tongue of land between the Greta and the 
Tutta Beck, is a small square camp triple trenched, en- 
closing about five acres. The George Inn at Greta Bridge 
stands on one side of it. Greta is not mentioned in the 
Itinerary, from which circumstance it is inferred to be 
of late Roman work. Numerous inscriptions have been 
found in the vicinity of Greta ; one, an altar (found on 
the banks of the river in 1702), appears to have been 
a votive offering of two females dedicated to a nymph 
" Elaune." From Greta Bridge the road went over 
Gatherly Moor and fell into the first Iter at Scotch 
Corner. It coincides, with a few slight deviations, with 
the modern road. 

From Scotch Corner to York the route of the first 
and second Itinera is the same. The second Iter passed 
out of York, and, crossing the river Ouse by a bridge 
near the present Guildhall, proceeded by way of Mickle- 
gate Bar to Tadcaster. The road for some distance passed 
through the suburbs of York, and forms the present high- 
way from Dringhouses to Streethouses. The line of road 
can be distinctly traced to Tadcaster, which is no doubt 
the ancient " Calcaria," though some authorities persist in 
placing it as St. Helen's Ford near Newton Kyme. At 
Tadcaster the road crossed the Wharfe, and ran in the 
direction of Hazlewood, where near Bramham it is still 


conspicuous in the fields, and known as " the Roman 
Ridge." The road continued to Aberford, and thence to 
a station called " Cambodunum." 

No portion of the Iter has given rise to more discussion 
than the position of Cambodunum. The difficulties are 
twofold : first, where was Cambodunum ? second, which 
way did the Iter take between Calcaria and Cambodunum ? 
With regard to the first difficulty, the shortest distance 
between Tadcaster and Manchester is fifty-eight computed 
English miles, whereas the numbers given in the Itinerary 
are only thirty-eight Roman miles. The most reasonable 
conclusion is that some intermediate station, probably 
Legolium (Castleford), has been omitted by the transcriber 
from the Itinerary. 

Cambodunum has been fixed at a variety of places, but 
the result of the various excavations made from time to 
time is to fix the station at Slack. The position of Slack 
is high and bleak, but sheltered to some extent by a high 
ridge north and south. A sloping piece of ground of about 
twelve acres is divided into enclosures, formerly called the 
" eald " or " old fields," and here an altar to Fortune was 
found. Several hypocausts have been discovered at Slack, 
and in 1866 the site was explored by the Yorkshire Archaeo- 
logical and Topographical Society, who published an account 
of the examination in the first volume of their Journal. 
On the strength of certain inscriptions on tiles found 
here, "Coh. IIII. Bre," it has been assumed that a cohort 
of the Breuci was stationed at Slack. 1 Tile-stamps of 
both the Sixth and Ninth Legions have been found at 

In 1597, not far from Slack, at a place called Thick 
Hollins, an altar (afterwards deposited in the library of 
Trinity College, Cambridge) was found. Antiquaries have 
differed as to the exact reading of the inscription, but the 
following translation is the one adopted by Horsley: 

1 The Breuci are also mentioned on inscriptions found at High Rochester, 
Lapidarium Septentrionale, p. 290, and at Castlesteads. 


" Dedicated to the God of the States of the Brigantes, and 
to the deities of the Emperor by Titus Amelius Aurelianus 
on behalf of himself and his. This duty with gratitude 
and pleasure he discharges." The inscription on the side 
indicates that it was set up A.D. 208, when Caracalla was 
third time Consul, and Geta the second. 1 

Another scarcely less vexed question is what was the 
line of road taken from Calcaria to Cambodunum. In the 
present state of our knowledge it is impossible to say. 
Several writers have maintained it went by Leeds and 
Cleckheaton, but the most probable opinion seems to be 
the plain statement of Drake 2 that the road from Cambo- 
dunum left the fifth and eighth Itinera near Aberford, and 
he says " this way may yet be traced, but it is not very 
visible." From Slack to Mancunium the direction of the 
road. was traced in Whitaker's time over Holestone Moor 
and Slaithwaite Hill to Castleshaw, and on to Manchester, 
but the traces are now few and indistinct. 

A double camp or fort has been known to exist at 
Castleshaw since 175 1, when Mr. Percival saw and described 
it. 3 It is now the property of Mr. W. Andrew and Major 
Lees and is being excavated by them (1908-9). The fort 
lies on a bleak and exposed situation near Diggle railway 
station, overlooking the Oldham reservoirs, and commanded 
the Roman road from Manchester to Aldborough over 

The camp is rectangular, about 120 yards by no, and 
encloses two forts one within the other. The outer fort 
covers about three acres and the inner one about five- 
eighths of an acre. Which of the two forts is the earlier 
has not yet been ascertained. Probably the smaller fort was 

1 See the note on " Some Roman Inscriptions in Britain," by Dr. Haver- 
field, Arch. Jour., vol. xlix. p. 192, as to the words : " Dea Victoria Brigant " 
inscribed on this altar. Dr. Haverfield notes an altar, dated probably 
circa A.D. 203, found at Castlesteads, dedicated to the "Deae Nymphae 

2 Eboracum, p. 19. 

8 Philosophical Transactions, vol. xlvii. p. 216. 


erected by Agricola to protect the road from Manchester to 
Aldborough. Both forts were protected by a turf rampart 
and by fosses. The turf rampart of the inner fort has a 
stone foundation 12 feet wide. The turf wall has been 
removed in the course of excavation, but a photograph 
of a section of the north-west rampart of the inner fort 
shows the layers of piled sods before removal. The south- 
west rampart of the wall of the larger camp was also of 
piled sods, while the north-west rampart is of clay. In 
both cases the fosse was in places cut through the solid 
rock. Five entrances to the forts have been excavated. 
" In all cases there are indications of post-holes, in some 
cases set round with stones and containing fragments of 
wood and iron staples." l A hypocaust in good preserva- 
tion was found in the inner camp, but has been much 
injured by careless visitors. The only tile-stamp so far 
discovered is the one, " Coh. iiii Bre," also found at Slack 
and Manchester. 

THE FIFTH ITER. The third and fourth Itinera do 
not touch Yorkshire, but the fifth Iter traversed the county 
from south to north. It is entitled from "Londinium 
(London) to Luguvallium (Carlisle)." The route ran 
through Carlisle to Lincoln. The Yorkshire stations were 
Littleborough, Doncaster, Castleford, York, Aldborough, 
Catterick, and Bowes. This Iter is the mediaeval " Ermine 
Street," which originally ran from London to Lincoln. 
From Lincoln two routes ran to the north, one, the military 
road to Winteringham, and the other, locally known as 
" Tillbridge Lane," diverged from the original Ermine Street 
about five miles from Lincoln, and crossed the Trent at 
Littleborough (Segelocum) between Lindum (Lincoln) and 
Danum (Doncaster). The latter road from Doncaster to 
York seems to have been constructed at a later date than 
the road to Winteringham, and was probably laid out after 

1 Excavations of the Roman Forts at Castleshaw, First Interim Report, 
by F. A. Bruton, 1908, p. 20. 


York became the seat of government to avoid the dangerous 
ferry across the H umber from Winteringham. The Roman 
Military, now in the cloisters at Lincoln and dedicated to 
Victorinus (circa A.D. 265), is supposed to give the dis- 
tance fourteen miles (M.P.) to Segelocum the first station. 
Remains of the Roman road may be traced near Little- 
borough. It crossed the Trent by a. ford, and its descent 
to the river was entire on each side in the last century. 
The bank was purposely cut away and sloped, and a 
causeway 1 8 feet wide, held up by strong piles and paved 
with rough square stones, was raised in the bed of the 
river. It probably dated from the time of Hadrian, and 
remained entire until 1820, when it was destroyed under 
the pretence that when the river was low it impeded the 
navigation. 1 Some traces of the wall and fosse surrounding 
the station still remain, and the camp has been very prolific 
of coins. 

The line of way from Littleborough to Doncaster seems 
to have been a raised causeway of gravel and is now lost. 
Horsley could not trace anything certain, and few remains 
have been found at Doncaster, although in late Roman 
times it was the headquarters of the prefect of the " Equi- 
tatus Crispianorum." Between Doncaster and Wentbridge 
the Roman road or "rig," as it is locally called, is still 
conspicuous. In Ogelby's Book of Roads, 1698 (Plate No. 7), 
it appears under the name of " Ye street way," as the post 
road between Doncaster and Pontefract. The present high- 
way north of Doncaster for a mile and a half is on the line 
of the Roman road, from which it diverges at Bodies, near 
Doncaster, while the Roman road continues in a straight 
line, for a distance of about three miles, as a green lane 
from 15 to 1 8 feet wide; and raised considerably above 
the level of the adjoining fields, which obtain access to 
it by means of steep ramps of earth. North of Wood- 
lands the ridge is very perfect, being from 6 to 8 feet 

1 " Roman Nottinghamshire," by W. T. Walker: Arch&ological Journal, 
vol. xliii. p. 3. 


high, and continues much the same for some distance until 
it again falls into the modern road near Red House, 
forming part of the highway to Barnsdale Bar, where it 
diverges, and a fine section of it, raised a considerable 
height, is to be seen crossing the fields and passing through 
a plantation on the left of the road. The road (as noticed 
by Horsley in 1732) is not paved, but appears "to consist 
of earth and gravel without much stone or any certain 
appearance of a regular pavement." l 

Near Barnsdale Bar the turnpike road again diverges 
from the Roman road, which can be seen running alongside 
the highway for some distance, until it again falls into the 
modern road, and so continues to Wentbridge. 2 The road 
between Wentbridge and Castleford has long since disap- 
peared, the pavement where it crossed Pontefract Park 
being dug up many years ago by the farmers, who com- 
plained that it broke their ploughs when ploughing. 

The road crossed the Aire at Castleford by a ford near 
the east side of the church, which stands on the site of the 
camp. The paved road was visible when Stukeley visited 
the district, but all traces of the camp and paved road have 
now disappeared, though coins are dug up from time to 
time. In 1890 an altar of gritty sandstone (now in the 
Leeds Museum) was dug up from the river Calder, near 

1 The road is intersected near Woodlands by the modern road from 
Adwick to Brodsworth, and at no other place in Yorkshire can the contrast 
between ancient and modern works be so well observed. Close to the place 
where the roads intersect each other is the newly (1907) sunk pit (580 yards 
deep) of the Brodsworth Colliery, from which 2000 tons of coal are being 
daily raised (to be increased ultimately to 6000 tons). On the other side 
of the Roman road, and abutting upon it, is the Woodlands " Garden village," 
created by the Colliery Company, and covering many acres of ground. The 
Roman road is being gradually cut away by railway sidings and new roads, 
and the portion between the colliery and Doncaster is returning to its old use 
of the most direct, though not the most level, road to Doncaster. 

2 " We left Doncaster and crossed three stone bridges which are over 
the river Don. . . . There are causeways on both sides of the road. . . . 
At the end of this causeway (on the left) appears plainly the Roman way, 
which continues in the present road for many miles together. It is raised 
considerably from the common level of the grounds, and in some parts of it 
the coach drives along the very ridge." Lord Harley's Journeys in Eng- 
land, 1723 : H.M.C. Duke of Portland's Papers, vol. vi. p. 90. 


Castleford, inscribed : " DEAE VIC : TORIAE : BRIGANT. A.D. 
AVRS ENoPIANU . ." The altar may probably date as early 
as 205. After leaving Castleford the road becomes large 
and conspicuous, and runs in a straight line for eight or 
nine miles to Aberford. In 1741 Horsley saw it, and 
says : " From Aberford to Tadcaster the road is very 
conspicuous, being in some parts 6, 8, and even 9 feet 
high, but seems to consist mostly of earth, with little or no 
regular pavement appearing." The road is incorporated 
for the greater part of the distance with the modern road, 
and is about 20 yards between the fences. The ridge 
upon which it runs is now about 8 yards wide, and as 
much as 5 feet above the adjoining ground, to which 
raised ramps give access. From Aberford, the ridge runs 
in a straight line to within a mile of Hazlewood School, 
where it leaves the present road, and runs across the fields 
to Tadcaster road, which it follows for some little distance, 
and then turns to the north in the direction of St. Helen's 
Ford. The road is visible in the enclosures near Hazle- 
wood, and is about 4 feet high with a rounded top about 
5 yards wide (in one place used as a garden to some 
cottages), and appears to consist of pebbles and gravel, 
marl, clay, and loose cobble stones which may be remains 
of paving. Drake l says in his time, the road was in many 
places exceedingly perfect, and "in his travels he never 
saw so noble and perfect a Roman road as this." 

Ermine Street does not appear originally to have gone 
on to York, but to have crossed the Wharfe at St. Helen's 
Ford, and thence on by Whixley to Aldborough by the road 
called " Rudgate," or Roadgate, which begins on the north 
side of the Nidd. When York rose to importance on the 
decline of Aldborough, a branch road was constructed from 
Ermine Street, via Calcaria (Tadcaster), which is traceable 
to York. 2 

1 Eboracutn, p. 19, where there is a view of the " Rig." 

2 A short distance below Tadcaster the little river Cock enters the Wharfe, 
and a few yards from the confluence the small stream is crossed by a 


In connection with the fifth Iter, another Roman road 
leads from Tadcaster to Ilkley, and thence to Elslack and 
Ribchester. 1 It can still be traced in places between 
Bramhope and Adel (the supposed Burgodunum), where 
are remains of a camp, and where many Roman remains 
have been found, some of which are preserved at the little 
museum near Adel church. From Adel the road can be 
traced to Carlton and Ilkley. The road ran from Ilkley to 
Skipton and Ribchester. A few traces of it are to be seen 
between Ilkley and Addingham High Moor, where the ridge 
becomes very distinct, and so continues over Draughton 
Slade and through Howgill and Edge Plantations. The 
road descends into Skipton by Short Bank Road, and thence 
to Elslack. The road is marked on Jeffrey's map, 17/0, as 
part of the coach road from Kendal to London, and was 
so used until 1821, when it was closed by order of Quarter 
Sessions as unnecessary. It is still used as a footpath. 

On the line of this road, recent (1907-9) excavations 2 at 
" Burwens " in Elslack have disclosed the outlines of a camp 
of about 5^ acres in extent. It is intersected by the Mid- 
land Railway from Skipton to Colne. The excavations 
prove the existence of two forts, an earlier one, dating 
probably from first century, with a rampart of clay resting 
upon a foundation 16 feet wide of cobbles set in clay, and 
a later fort with a stone wall about 9 feet thick, the founda- 
tions of which are in places built into the ditch of the 
earlier fort. The south gateway of the earlier fort is close 
to the south gateway of the later fort. 

semicircular arch, constructed without a keystone, and springing from square 
pier walls. The blocks of stone, neatly squared, are about twice as large as 
those in the wall at York, and on several are mason's marks. The parapets 
are modern. The arch is about 13 feet wide and 7 feet high, and the middle 
of the bridge is about 8 feet. The track leading to it from the south is 
called " tke Old Street." Professor John Phillips, in Rivers, &*<:., of York- 
shire, p. 83, and Mr. Roach Smith believe it to be Roman work, but other 
authorities think the bridge to be Norman work. 

1 Warburton's note on his map respecting this road is : " This Roman 
way goes [from Ribchester] to York and for the most part visible being 
paved with stone throughout." 

1 Conducted by Messrs. Simpson and May. 


The gateway of the later fort was of stone flanked by 
a tower. " One of the gateways of the earlier rampart 
was constructed of wood. Huge beams of timber con- 
stituted the sides of the gate, and one of the post-holes 
contained a ' butt end ' 3 feet high and I ft. 3 in. x I ft. 
i in." The buildings have been wholly destroyed and only 
foundations of the walls remain. Some fragments of 
pottery have been found which are assigned to the first 
century, and support the theory that Elslack was the work 
of Agricola. 

Besides the legionary roads mentioned in the Itinerary ', 
Roman Yorkshire was intersected in all directions by other 
roads, some, such as the roads over Blackstone Edge and 
" Wade's Causeway," of considerable importance. 

BLACKSTONE EDGE ROAD. If we may hazard a con- 
jecture upon a subject upon which there is very slight if 
any evidence, we suggest the Blackstone Edge road is an 
early road to Isurium (Aldborough), constructed before the 
adoption of York as the seat of Roman power. The road 
issued out from Manchester near Hunts Bank, now occupied 
by the Cathedral and Cheetham's College (both of which 
stand on the site of a Roman station). In Whitaker's time 
the road was visible ; it was 5 yards in width, bordered 
with large stones running in the direction of Rochdale, but 
it has been so completely destroyed that some authors have 
doubted its existence ; but its general direction has been 
proved by remains found at various places adjoining the 
supposed line of road. 

The best preserved and most accessible portion of the 
road is on the Lancashire side of the hills. It appears to 
have passed Lidgate about a mile east of Littleborough, 
and then over Blackstone Edge about two miles east of 
Littleborough. A little south of the- road near the fourth 
milestone from Rochdale, the paving of the causeway 
begins, ascending in a straight line (at a gradient of I in 7, 
in some places I in 4^) for some 1600 yards to the top of 


the ridge where the two counties of Lancashire and York- 
shire meet. 

"The paving is in regular courses across the road, and seems to be 
bedded in rubble upon the rock : it is now several feet below the level of 
the surface of the moor, the peat which covered it having apparently been 
removed. It is about 18 feet wide, and is bordered with stones set on edge, 
and in the middle there is a line of large blocks hollowed out so as to 
form a longitudinal trough 14 inches wide and 8 or 9 deep, the bottom of 
which is rather higher in the middle than at the sides. Higher up the hill 
the trough ceases, and a paved causeway 12 feet wide branches off on the 
north at an angle of 20 degrees, and continues for a short distance in a 
westerly direction at a flatter gradient ; the trough stones reappear about the 
branch, and a rut in the paving 2 feet 4 inches from the centre of the trough 
is soon very plain on the north side, in places 3 or 4 inches deep : higher up 
a rut appears on the south side, well marked, with traces of the rut on the 
north side, both at the same distance (2 feet 4 inches) from the middle of the 
trough. Appearances suggest two wheel tracks of about 2 feet gauge with 
one wheel in the trough rather than one track of 4 feet 6 inches gauge as has 
been suggested. Towards the summit the pavement is a good deal broken 
up and the bare rock appears. There is no middle trough, but the large flat 
stones forming the pavement are slightly grooved by wear in the line of it." 1 

The road descends on the eastern or Yorkshire side of 
moor for nearly two miles, and the trough stones again 
appear. The paved road is buried in most places under 
peat, but the direction of the causeway can always be traced 
by two parallel lines of heather or bilberry mounds which 
cover the paved road and the curbs or edges of stones of 
the road. 

The trough in the middle of the road has given rise to 
much speculation, and about a dozen theories have been 
put forward as to its origin, most of which will be found 
summed up by Dr. March in his paper. The most probable 
explanation is that the " trough " was used for skidding the 
wheels of heavy laden carts. 

Owing to the difficulty in explaining the use of the 
" trough," some recent writers have contended the road 
is of post-Roman construction. The great consensus of 

1 Codrington, On Roman Roads in Britain, 2nd edit., p. 106. See also 
"The Road over Blackstone Edge," by H. C. March, M.D., in Transactions 
of Lancashire and Cheshire Society, vol. i. 1883, p. 75. 


opinion, however, is strongly in favour of its Roman 

One of the earliest travellers over the road was John 
Warburton (Somerset Herald), and himself a Lancashire 
man, who prepared a map of Yorkshire from personal 
observation ; and in his explanation of his map says : " 4. 
The Roman military ways are shown by two unequal 
black lines, and when discontinued or broken off are not 
visible." The map is not dated, but was most probably 
issued before I72O. 1 On it he shows the Blackstone Edge 
road as still complete, and adds the following note : " The 
Roman way extends from Manchester in Lancashire unto 
Aldborough near Boroughbridge, is all paved with stones 
and near eight yards broad." Sayers' map (1728) and all 
subsequent maps showing Roman roads appear to be copied 
from Warburton's. Warburton's notes and papers used 
for the preparation of his map are among the Lansdowne 
manuscripts in the British Museum. 

The road after crossing the ridge is known as " The 
Devil's " or " Daub's " Causeway, and winds down Black- 
stone Clough to Baitings, where Warburton placed a camp. 
From Baitings, the road has been traced to Upwood above 
Keighley. It crossed the river Calder at Longbottom by 
a ford paved with large blocks of stone to the width of 
20 feet, which were removed when the bed of the river 
was altered on the construction of the railway. It then 
ran over the " Carrs," where its pavement was removed, 
when Ogden reservoir was made, and through Denholme 
Gate, where it could lately be seen behind St. Paul's School ; 
and it crossed the river Aire somewhere near Marley Hall, 
and ascended the hills behind Upwood House, where a 
large portion of the pavement was taken up about fifty 
years ago. 

The road then crossed Rombalds Moor, and descended 
into the valley of the Wharfe, down Weary Hill to the 

1 See "Warburton's Journal," in Yorkshire Archaological Journal, vol. xv., 
p. 275. 


camp at Ilkley. When the road ceased to be used for 
general traffic cannot be ascertained, but up to the middle 
of the eighteenth century it was fairly passable from Little- 
borough to Ilkley for foot passengers, though in a ruinous 
condition ; in some places incorporated with the highways 
and in other parts enclosed. 1 

The road crossed the river Wharfe at Ilkley, and 
ascended the steep hill near Stubbam Wood, where a little 
of it is still visible. Whitaker, writing in I7/I, 2 states that 
the road was found on Middleton and Blueburg House 
(Blubberhouse) Moors, paved like the portion of the road 
over Blackstone Edge, with stones uncommonly large, and 
edged like that with still larger ones. The pavement may, 
as surmised by Horsley, have sunk into the bogs and peat 
where it traversed the wild moorland region to the north 
of Ilkley, or may have been broken up for fences. But 
portions of the road may still be found under the greensward 
towards Windsoever. 3 

The general direction ol the road is across Bracken 
Ridge and Sug Marsh, and after crossing the Washburne 
River to Cragg Hall, it joins, and forms part of, the present 
highway as far as Kettlesing Toll Bar. The road passed 
on to Hampsthwaite, and there it crossed the river Nidd, 
near the church through Holy Bank Wood, where in 1894 
it was in evidence in the shape of large stones, 5 or 6 feet 
long, and I foot wide. 4 The road through Clint to Aid- 
borough is lost ; but, according to Warburton's map, it 
ran by Staveley and Copgrave to Aldborough, where it 
crossed the river Ure upon a wood bridge, the piles of 
which were visible as late as the eighteenth century. In 

1 That the road has been altered from time to time is probable from an 
entry on the Patent Rolls, 19 Ed. I. 1291 (Sterling): "Grant to Hugh de 
Elaund and Richard de Radeclive for two years of a custom on goods for sale 
taken across the Causeway of Blakesteynegge [i.e. Blackstone Edge] to be 
applied to its repairs." Elland and Radcliffe were local names. In 1291 the 
only roads over Stanedge and Blackstone Edge would be the Roman roads. 

2 History of Manchester, vol. i. p. 140. 

3 Turner's History of Ilkley, 1885, p. 275. 
* Speight's Nidderdale, 1894, p. 380. 


1712 the road, 10 feet wide and paved with stones, was 
laid open to Roecliff common field, two miles from Aid- 
borough, at about 2 feet below the surface. 1 

WADE'S CAUSEWAY. Another road, not mentioned in 
the Itinerary, but still visible in various places, is the road 
commonly called " Wade's Causeway," which ran from 
York to Dunsley near Whitby. The road from York to 
the river Rye is now obliterated, but Drake 2 found the 
stratum near the Rye very plain, and composed of " large 
blue pebbles, some of a ton weight." At Cawthorn, about 
four miles beyond Pickering, the road is again to be met 
with near four remarkable camps, now for the most part 
overgrown by furze and shrubs lying on the very edge 
of the moors and placed close together. 3 They are in 
reality double camps, two being united together. Three of 
the camps have only a single agger, but the most westerly 
camp is square, with a double ditch and vallum with the 
Roman road running through it east and west, and then 
turning north, descends the hill through Ellerton Lodge, 
where a portion of the paving remains. From certain pecu- 
liarities in the entrances to the camp, also noticed by Roy 
at the Roman camp at Dealgrin Ross, Strathern, occupied 
by the Ninth Legion, it has been conjectured that the Caw- 
thorn camps are the work of that legion. The same peculiarity 
existed in the defences of the Roman camp at Malton. 4 

From Cawthorn, the road points to Dunsley Bay 
near Whitby (the Dunus Sinus of Ptolemy). Though 
mostly buried in the ling, it can be traced in riding over 
the moors by the horse's hoofs striking upon it, as noticed 
by Drake 6 in 1746, who says he found "the road to be 

1 Cough's Camdcn, vol. iii. p. 300. 
z Eboracum, p. 36. 

3 They are figured in Roy's Military Antiquities, and Young's Whitby, 
vol. ii. p. 694. They have recently been explored by the Yorkshire Com- 
mittee of Roman Antiquities, but without any result. 

4 Murray's Yorkshire, p. 175, ed. 1874. 

5 Eboracum, p. 35. 



12 feet wide paved with a flint pebble, some of them 
very large and in many places as firm as it was the first 
day. In some places the agger is 3 feet above the 
surface." Since Drake's time a good deal of the road 
has been broken up to repair roads and buildings, and 
it is by no means easy to trace. Drake appears to have 
traced the road towards Dunsley Bay, and traces of it 
near Mulgrave Castle were shown to the present writer 
some thirty years ago. 

In 1817 the road was visible at various points, and on 
Lease Rigg it was described by Young l as follows : 

"The foundation is usually a stratum of gravel on rubbish, over which 
is a strong pavement of stones, placed with the flattest side uppermost ; 
above these another stratum of gravel or earth to fill up and smooth the 
surface, the middle higher than the sides, which are secured with a border 
of flat stones placed edgeways, the elevation was in some places 2 or 3 feet, 
there was sometimes a gutter in each side, and the breadth, exclusive of the 
gutters, was 16 feet." 

Wade's Causeway exhibits in operation the gradual 
destruction of a paved Roman road. On the moors far 
away from " intakes " or enclosures, the paving is to 
be found beneath a few inches of soil, very much as 
it was when the Roman traffic on it ceased. On the 
unenclosed moor enough is left to be mapped as traces 
of a Roman road, but within the intake cultivation soon 
obliterates all traces. 

There is also another line of road, which quitted the 
fifth and eighth Itinera near Pontefract, and proceeded 
by Darfield and Templeborough and by the long cause- 
way through Sheffield and the north part of Derbyshire. 
The only existing remains of this road in Yorkshire is the 
camp at Templeborough, about a mile from Rotherham, 
where, if Horsley's conjecture as to the reading of the 
Notitia is correct, a body of " cuirassiers " was stationed. 

A full description of the camp has been published by 

1 History of Whitby t vol. ii. p. 706. 


Mr. Leader, but the ruins, not being protected from the 
weather, are becoming indistinguishable. Some objects of 
interest have been collected together and are now de- 
posited in the Museum at Clifton Park, Rotherham ; 
several tiles stamped COH IIII GALL, and a fine mould 
for a medallion of Diana which was found in excavating 
for a new workhouse at Rotherham. 

THE ROMAN MILITARY FORCE. No account of Roman 
Yorkshire would be complete without some reference to the 
Roman military forces. 

The Roman forces, at the time of their occupation of 
Britain, consisted of two classes of soldiers, legionary 
troops and their auxiliaries. The legions for the most 
part represented the old citizen army of the Republic. 
The auxiliaries were levied from subject nations, and 
not from the citizens of Rome. The strength of a legion 
varied greatly at different times, but during the Roman 
occupation of Britain it comprised about 4000 to 6000 
heavy armed infantry, divided into ten cohorts, and 
with a small body of about 300 Roman cavalry. The 
auxiliaries, or allied infantry, were generally as numerous 
as the Roman infantry, sometimes in excess of it. The 
unit was a small body of 500 (sometimes 1000) in- 
fantry, also called " a cohort," and an " ala " of cavalry, 
generally twice the strength of the legionary horse. A 
fully equipped legion would therefore average from 10,000 
to 12,000 men. 

The Roman legions were designated by numbers, as 
Legio II. or Secunda, and also by some name denoting 
when, where, and by what emperor they had been raised, 
or commemorative of some distinctive circumstance. Some 
of the legions also bore symbols : for instance, the Second 
Legion had for a symbol a she-goat, and the Eighth a bull 
and a lion. The Sixth does not appear to have had any 
symbol. On coins struck by some of the emperors, viz., 
Severus, Gallienus, Carausius, the legend of the reverse 


consists of the number and sometimes the title of a legion, 
as LEG. vi. 

The Second, Sixth, and Ninth Legions were connected 
with Eboracum. Of these the second, " Legio II. Augusta," 
also called " Britannica," came over with Claudius, and an 
altar found at York, dedicated to Fortune by the wife of a 
soldier of this legion, affords some evidence of its having 
been at York, though its headquarters were at some later 
date at Caerleon in South Wales. 

The Ninth Legion (" Hispanica ") also came into Britain 
with Claudius, and suffered so severely in the campaigns 
against Boadicea, and at Dealgrin Ross in Scotland, that 
some writers have thought it was disbanded or incor- 
porated with the Sixth Legion. There are memorials of 
it at York, Aldborough, Slack, and probably at Cawthorn 

The Sixth Legion (" Victrix. Pia. Fidelis") came over to 
England with Hadrian. Mr. Wellbeloved says no mention 
of this legion is ever found on inscriptions belonging to 
the south of England, 1 but it occurs frequently in those 
of the north. It appears to have been employed on the 
Roman Wall, and to have come to York through Lanca- 
shire, as several inscriptions belonging to this legion have 
been found in Lancashire. One of the most interesting of 
Roman relics was found near the road from Manchester to 
Ilkley, on the confines of Yorkshire. It is the representation 
of a human right arm and hand, 9! inches in length, and 
weighing 6 ounces, and formed of pure silver, the hand 
being solid and the arm hollow. An annulet of silver sur- 
rounded the arm above the elbow, and another the wrist, 
from which hung a silver plate, bearing an inscription 
drilled in small holes through it, and reads : " Victoriae Leg . 
VI Vic Val . Rvfvs V.S.L.M." ..." To Victory of the 

1 The Roman inscriptions to the Sixth Legion found at Bath are memo- 
rials to soldiers who apparently had visited Bath for health, and numerous 
inscriptions relating to the legion are preserved in the York and Halifax 


Sixth Legion the Victorious Valerius Rufus performs his 
vow willingly, to a deserving object." * 

The legionaries and auxiliaries were sometimes stationed 
together, but not always quartered together. The legion- 
aries occupied the great fortresses, and the auxiliaries 
occupied the smaller forts. The station at York, which 
contained within its walls 60 or 70 acres, was garrisoned 
by the Ninth, and afterwards by the Sixth Legion. The 
subsidiary camps or stations, which comprised only 4 to 
8 acres, were held by the auxiliaries, e.g. one body being 
stationed at Templeborough, another at Ilkley (Olicana), 
and another at Bowes. No two contiguous subsidiary 
camps were occupied by the same nationality of auxiliaries. 
Neither legionaries nor auxiliaries were moved about, but 
remained in the same station often for successive centuries. 
For instance, the Sixth Legion remained at York from its 
first landing in Britain, A.D. 117, to the final abandonment 
of Britain, about A.D. 405. 

One of the most valuable privileges of a Roman was 
that of citizenship ; without it no man had any political status, 
his property was insecure, and any marriage which he 
might contract was unrecognised by the State. He was 
liable to personal indignity, and might be treated as little 
better than a slave. Not only was it a proud and valuable 
prerogative, but it is evident that means were taken to 
enable any one possessing it easily to establish his claim. 
In early times the grants of citizenship were duly registered 
at Rome, and copies of the grant, inscribed on bronze or 
copper plates, appear to have been sent to the place where 
the new citizens resided. Four bronze tablets of two leaves 
each (hence called diplomas) have been found in England. 
They confer citizenship and the right of marriage 2 upon 
certain soldiers serving in Britain, who have been twenty- 
five years in the army ; one belonging to the reign of 

1 Figured in Watkins* Roman Lancashire, p. 213. 

2 The Roman soldier was not allowed to marry. The Emperor Claudius 
was the first who granted them the privileges of married men. 


Hadrian, circa A.D. 1 24 (now in the British Museum), was 
found in 1761 at Riveling, not far from the camp at Temple- 
borough. The diplomas state that " he [the Emperor] gives 
the citizenship to those whose names are written below, to 
them, their children and their posterity, together with the 
right of marriage with those wives which they then have, 
or if they be bachelors, with those whom they may here- 
after marry, provided that they have but one each." The 
document concluded with the names of the consuls, the 
name of the person to whom the citizenship is granted, 
the place in Rome where the original degree granting the 
citizenship is to be found, and the names of the witnesses. 
The diplomas have had their two leaves bound together by 
thongs, so as to be carried upon the person. The Riveling 
tablets are much corroded, but on them is inscribed a list 
of twenty-seven bodies of troops (six alae and twenty-one 
cohorts) among them being the second cohort of" Lingones," 
who have left a memorial of their presence at Ilkley. 2 In 
one of the diplomas the names of several troops who were 
in England when the Notitia was compiled, circa A.D. 403, 
are set out. We have, therefore, certain proof that some 
troops were in Britain at least three hundred years. Each 
garrison would probably be recruited by the sons of soldiers, 
by friendly natives, and by importations from the land from 
which it originally came. 

There are few specimens of Roman-British statuary 
existing in England, but the York Museum possesses a 
very noble one. It is carved in light-coloured grit, probably 
by a local artist. The figure is 5 feet 10 inches high, but 
when found was unfortunately defective in the feet and 
right arm, which have been since added to the figure. It 
represents a martial personage in helmet, breastplate, and 
greaves, with the left hand resting upon a large oval shield. 
The hair is arranged in fillets, and the face is beautifully 
cut. Various theories have been discussed as to the 

1 Figured in Cough's Camden (1806), vol. iii. p. 263 ; and more accurately 
n the Lapidarium Septentrionale. 



personage intended to be represented. Some suppose Ares 
or Mars, others Geta, who is known to have been in York 
circa A.D. 211, and Mr. W. T. Watkins suggests Britannia, 
a suggestion which has not found favour with experts. 
Closely connected with the armour of a Roman soldier, the 
York Museum possesses a very fine boss of a shield, dug up 
from the mouth of the river Tyne. The boss is 1 2 inches 
long by 10 inches broad, with a circular knob in the centre. 
The material is bronze, coated with tin, and the figures 
have been made by scraping off the tin. In the centre of 
the boss is the representation of the Roman Eagle. " In 
the four corners are representations of the four seasons. 
Spring, in the upper left-hand corner, is figured as a youth 
striving to gather his garments around him. Summer is 
represented, in the opposite angle, by a husbandman who 
grasps a scythe. Below is Autumn, figured as a winged 
genius, holding a huge bunch of grapes in the left hand 
and a basket of corn or fruit in the left. Winter, in the 
remaining corner, is clad in furs fluttering in the winds." 
In the upper corners of the boss, under the figures of the 
spring and summer are engraved the words LEG VIII. AVG 
("The Eighth Legion, surnamed the Imperial"). In the 
upper central compartment of the boss is a warrior in the 
attitude of attack, probably intended to represent Mars. 
In the corresponding compartment below is a bull, probably 
the badge of the Eighth Legion. Above the bull is a crescent. 
On the left-hand margin of the plate is an inscription in 
punctured letters, which Dr. Bruce translated as "Junius 
Dubitatus of the Company of Julius Magnus the centurion." 
The Eighth Legion was not in Britain, but somewhere near 
Mayence, but it is suggested that Dubitatus was wrecked 
on a sea voyage, and probably lost his life in the Tyne. 
The boss of the shield is one of the choicest specimens 
of Roman work in the country. 

WORSHIP. The religion of the Roman was an affair 
of State, and we therefore expect to meet with some 


vestiges of their religious rites wherever their arms pene- 

Almost every town or station had its temple. Remains 
of temples have been found at Bath, Cirencester, and other 
places, and there seems to be little doubt that a temple 
to Bellona existed at York. Spartian, in his life of the 
Emperor Septimus Severus, says : l " Coming to the city 
and desiring to offer sacrifice, the Emperor was conducted 
first by a rustic soothsayer to the temple of Bellona." 
Drake 2 thought that the temple was near where the Abbey 
of St. Mary's or the Manor House now stands, and where 
a small brass figure, apparently of the goddess, was found. 

Innumerable altars have been found in Britain, but the 
greater part in a mutilated condition. 

Mr. Wright 3 says : " In the wild country along the line 
of Hadrian's Wall, where they have escaped destruction in 
greater numbers than elsewhere, it was a practice among 
the peasantry to chip away the sculptures and inscriptions 
whenever they found them, because they associated them 
in their minds with notions of magic and witchcraft." The 
altars to the different deities, especially to the lesser objects 
of worship, seem to have been placed within the temples 
of the superior gods. They were perhaps placed in the 
open air, in the forum, or the roadside, or in the cemeteries, 
like the mediaeval crosses. 

Inscriptions have been found to the chief Roman deities, 
Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, Minerva, Ceres ; the lesser deities, 
such as Silvanus, ^Esculapius, and others; the Grecian 
and Eastern deities, the Tyrian Hercules, Mithras, Serapis ; 
the Nymphs and Genii, Fortune and deified personifica- 
tions ; the deities of the auxiliary races, the Deae Matres, 
Vitires, &c. 

An enumeration of all the inscribed stones found in 

1 Vit. Server., c. xxii. 
* Eboracum, p. 12. 

3 The Celt, Roman, and Saxoti, $th edit., p. 314, where a full and 
interesting description of a Roman altar is to be found. 


Roman Yorkshire would expand this article beyond the 
scope of the " Memorials," but the following examples, 
taken from the York Museum, may be of interest to the 
general reader. 1 Numerous inscriptions to Jupiter, the 
chief deity of Rome, have been found in Britain. One 
(now in the Oxford Museum) found on Bishop Hill, York, 
in 1638, bore an inscription: "To Jupiter, best and 
greatest, and to the gods and goddesses who preside over 
the household, and to the penates, for the preservation 
of the health of himself and his family, Pablius jElius 
Marcianus, prefect of a Cohort, dedicated and consecrated 
this altar." Mercury is often figured, and examples of 
sculptured figures representing him have been found at 
Aldborough and York. 

One of the chief occupations of Roman country life 
was the chase ; Roman and British pottery is frequently 
ornamented with hunting scenes, in which the stag, the 
hare, and the dog are represented. The chase of the boar 
appears to have been a favourite pursuit in Britain. An 
altar has been found at Durham dedicated to " Silvanus," 
the god of forests and hunting, by the prefect of an ala 
of soldiers, who had slain a boar, which had set all the 
hunters before him at defiance. And altars to the same 
god have been found at York and Moresby. 

Altars were dedicated to other gods for health and 
welfare. In the interior north wall of the church tower of 
Ilkley is a figure locally known as " Hercules and the 
Serpent," and which, it has been suggested, represents 
the goddess of healing. 

One of the laws of the twelve tables was that " Foreign 
deities should not be worshipped " ; but in the later periods 

1 Handbook to the Antiquities in the Grounds and Museum of the Yorkshire 
Philosophical Society, 8th edit., 1891. Edited by Canon Raine. The Society 
possesses a large collection of objects, mostly found in York and the county, 
illustrative of Roman manners and life. There is no gathering from any 
Roman site in Britain that can be compared with it (Raine, Historic Towns 
(York), p. 10). The bulk of the collection is housed in the ancient building 
called "The Hospitium." 


of the Roman State, foreign worship was tolerated if not 
authoritatively established. 

Amongst Eastern superstitions the worship of the 
Phoenician Astarte, the Egyptian Serapis, and the Persian 
Mithras planted themselves deeply in Britain. 

That there was a temple at Eboracum dedicated to 
Serapis is clear from the following inscription on a tablet 
of coarse grit found in a cellar on the south side of the 
river at York : " DEO SANCTO | SERAPI | TEMPLVM A SO I 
The temple of Serapis is supposed to have stood near 
the old North-Eastern Railway, and a portion of the pave- 
ment from that site is preserved in the museum. From 
this inscription it appears that the temple was erected from 
its foundation by Claudius Hieronymianus, legate of the 
Sixth Legion, "Victorious." The name Hieronymianus 
also occurs upon an inscription found at Northallerton. 

Perhaps the most interesting sculpture yet discovered 
in York is a tablet 3 feet 3 inches high by 22 inches 
wide, representing the sacrifice and mysteries of Mithras. 
Mithras was the Persian god of created light and of 
all earthly wisdom. In the course of time he became 
identified with the Sun god, who conquers all demons of 
darkness. In the first half of the first century B.C. his 
worship is said to have been introduced into the Roman 
provinces of the West, and by the beginning of the second 
century B.C. it had become common throughout the Roman 
Empire. Mithras was a special favourite of the Roman 
soldiers. Being born from the rocks, he was worshipped 
in natural or artificial caves. He is represented as a young 
man in oriental dress, and as an invincible hero, stabbing a 
bull with his dagger, or standing on a bull he has thrown 
down. In the York tablet, above the principal figure, are 
three busts, one on the left wearing a radiant crown, two 
on the right much mutilated. On each side of the principal 

1 Figured in Wellbeloved's Eburacum, p. 75, who gives a sketch of the 
worship of Serapis. 



group is an attendant bearing a torch, one inverted with 
flames downwards ; the torch of the other (not seen in the 
York tablet in consequence of its mutilated condition, but 
shown on tablets in other collections) with the flame up- 
wards. The former denotes the descent of the souls of men 
from the lunar region to the earth ; the other their ascent, 
when regenerated and purified, to their celestial and eternal 

There was another class of Roman deities commemo- 
rated in numerous altars found in Britain. The nymphs 
presided over groves and meadows, and especially over 
fountains. Even the roads had their deities, and an altar was 
found at Greta Bridge dedicated "To the god who ways 
and paths has devised, Titus Irclas performed a holy vow 
most willingly and dutifully, Quintus Varius Vitalis, bene- 
ficiary of the Consul the holy altar restored, Apronianus 
and Bradua being Consuls." l 

The genii were a different description of divinities, 
having each a peculiar place or object entrusted to his 
care. When a man opened a shop he began by expressing 
a wish that the genius of the place would take charge of 
it. Three such inscribed votive tablets 2 are in the York 
Museum. Fortune seems also to have been a popular 
deity, as numerous altars inscribed to the goddess show. 
One found by Whitaker 3 at Slack in 1736 was inscribed: 
" Caius Antonius Modestus, centurion of the Sixth, vic- 
torious, pious, and faithful Legion, consecrated this altar 
to Fortune, and with pleasure discharges the vow he 

But one of the most interesting inscriptions is found 
at Bowes (Lavatrse), raised by the same Propraetor or 
Governor of Britain, Virius Lupus, 4 whose name also 
occurs on an inscription at Ilkley : " To the goddess 

1 Apronianus and Bradua were Consuls in the year 191. 

2 Figured by Wellbeloved, p. 87. 

3 History of Manchester, vol. i. p. 89. 

4 Virius Lupus appears, or may have been, Propraetor circa 197 to 21 1. 


Fortune | Virius Lupus | Legate | of Augustus, Pro- 
praetor | the bath, by force | of fire burnt | of the first 
cohort of the | Thracians, restored | under the care | of 
Valerius Fronte | Praefect | of the wing of the horse of 

The same Virius Lupus also rebuilt some station or 
building at Ilkley, as appears from one of the now illegible 
inscriptions preserved at Middleton Lodge, and which ran : 
" The Emperors Severus Augustus and Antoninum | Caesar 
elect | restored under the care of Virius Lupus, their Legate 

The auxiliary troops had also their divinities. Among 
them are those known by the title of decs matres. It is 
said not more than one altar to these deities has been 
found in Italy, or mentioned by the classic writers ; but 
altars and inscriptions to them are very numerous along 
the banks of the Rhine. When the decs matres are figured 
on altars or monuments they are always represented as 
three seated females, with baskets or bowls of fruit on 
their knees. Five monuments commemorative of them 
are in the York Museum. On one of them the decs are 
represented on the front of the altar sitting in a recess. 
On the right side of the altar is a single male figure, and 
on the left two male figures, and on the fourth side is an 
animal, probably a swine, standing before an altar. The 
fine altar, dedicated to the decs matres by M. Nantonum 
Orbitales, was found at Doncaster six feet underground. 

SEPULCHRAL MONUMENTS. In the disposal of the 
dead two methods have most generally prevailed. I. Burial 
of the entire body. 2. Burial of the ashes after the body 
has been burned. The earlier practice of the Roman was 
to bury the body entire, but in the time of Sylla the custom 
of burning the dead was established. Both modes of burial 
were used indiscriminately in Roman Britain, but the prac- 
tice of burning the dead and burying the ashes in urns 
seems to have predominated. The earlier law of the 


Romans prohibited the burial or burning of the dead within 
the city. Mr. Wellbeloved J says no vestige of a Roman 
burial within the walls of Eboracum has been discovered, 
but in the suburbs, and especially on the south side of the 
river, relics of the Roman dead abound. 

When a corpse was to be burned, it was carried in 
solemn procession to the funeral pile raised at a place set 
apart for the purpose, called the ustrinum." When the 
body had been consumed, the ashes of the dead were 
placed in an urn in which they were committed to the grave. 
The cinerary urns found in Britain are generally plain and 
large, of a dark-coloured pottery. Examples are to be 
found in most museums of Roman antiquities, and the 
York Museum possesses a large and fine series. 

Sometimes the ashes were deposited in glass jars, and 
sometimes in coffers of lead called ossuaria? A very fine 
ossuarz'um, 15 inches high by 10 inches, with a round cupola, 
was found in York in 1875. When discovered it was half 
full of coloured human bones. A unique inscription is cut 
on it by a sharp-pointed tool : 

D M 


QVAE VIXIT ANNOS who lived ... in years* 

... Ill MENSES XI DIES. eleven months and . . . 

FECERVNT VLPIVS FELIX ET days. Her parents Ulpius 

. . . ANDRONICA Felix and . . . Andronica 

PARENTES have placed 


When a regular Roman cemetery is opened, the cinerary 
urn is often found to be surrounded by a group of vessels 

1 Eburacum, p. 98. 

2 Mr. Wright thought he had discovered the site of an ustrinum outside 
the walls of Isurium (Aldborough). 

8 See a paper on " Roman Leaden Coffins and Ossuaria," Collectanea 
Antiqua, vol. vii. p. 170, illustrated by several examples from York Museum. 
4 It may have been 13 or 23 years. 


of various descriptions, which perhaps held wine, aromatics, 
and other articles. Among these are often elegant cups 
and paterae of red Samian ware. The cinerary urns were 
in many cases enclosed in a chest of wood, but they were 
usually covered above with a large flat tile or stone. The 
chest or grave was itself often formed of tiles or stones 
instead of wood. At York graves have been found made 
of tiles in a peculiar arrangement. One now in the museum, 
found in 1833 on the side of the Roman road near York 
leading to Tadcaster (Calcaria), was formed of ten roof 
tiles, each I foot 7 inches long, I foot 3^ inches broad, and 
i inch in thickness. Four of these tiles were placed on 
each side, and one at each end, with a row of ridge 
tiles on the top. Each tile bore the impress LEG VI VI. 
Remains of a funeral pile 6 inches thick were found under 
these tiles, but no urn or vessel of any kind. 

In another similar tomb the tiles were stamped with 
the inscription LEG IX HISP ; within the tomb were found 
several urns, containing ashes standing on a flat tiled 
pavement. Sepulchral tombs made of stone are rarer than 
those formed of tiles. In some places, especially at York, 
massive chests or sarcophagi of stone have been found, 
which from their forms and inscriptions appear to have 
stood above ground. Some of these sarcophagi present 
a very peculiar mode of sepulture. 1 

After the body had been laid, apparently in full dress 
(most of the bodies are those of women), on its back at the 
bottom of the chest, liquid lime was poured in until the 
body was covered. This, becoming hard, has preserved 
an impression of the body, of which the skeleton is often 
found entire. In one coffin at York the lime bears the 
impression of a female with a small child laid in her lap, 
and the garments in which they were buried, of the colour 
of a rich purple, as well as the texture of the cloth which 
covered her, are distinctly visible in the impression. 

1 Wellbeloved's Eburacum, p. 108. 


Sarcophagi where the body has not been burned are 
sometimes found made of baked clay, either in one piece 
with a lid, or in several pieces, so formed as to fit together. 
Examples have been found in York and Aldborough. 

Some coffins found in Britain are of lead. Many 
examples have been found in Roman cemeteries and several 
are preserved in the museum. One 6 feet long 1 has a 
corded pattern worked on it. Inside the coffin, and em- 
bedded in gypsum, were the remains of a lady, whose hair, 
containing two jet pins, has been preserved. The lead 
coffin is enclosed in a stone coffin ; this was found under 
the booking-office of the new station at York. 

Sometimes the sepulchral chest was expanded into a 
spacious chamber. One still exists under a house on the 
Mount. It is a large domed vault of brick, 8 feet long, 
5 feet broad, and 6 feet high, and contains a beautiful 
wrought coffin of limestone in remarkably good preservation. 
The Roman sepulchral inscription usually consists of a slab 
of stone, which appears to have been fixed on the ground 
like our common gravestones. At York, inscriptions are 
found on both sides of some of the large sarcophagi. The 
inscription is often surmounted by a sculptured figure, 
intended sometimes to represent the individual commemo- 
rated by it. 

Usually inscriptions are dedicated at the beginning to 
the gods of the shades (perhaps the shades of the departed), 
diis manibus, commonly expressed by the letters D.M. The 
name of the deceased is then stated, with his age, and, 
if a soldier, the number of years he has served. This is 
usually followed by the name of the person who has raised 
the tomb. The age is often stated with great precision. The 
Romans appear to have had a superstitious dread of the 
word death ; they did not say a person died on such a 
day, but that he or she lived so many years, months, 
and days. 

1 Figured in Smith's Collectanea, voL vii. p. 178. 


Many of the Roman sepulchral inscriptions display 
feelings of the truest and most affectionate description. 
They are addressed to the deceased by near relations, 
and are sometimes from a parent to a child, children and 
parents, or a wife to her husband; for example, a large 
sarcophagus found at York was made to receive an infant 
whose father was a soldier in the Sixth Legion. The 
the Manes. To Simplicia Florentina, a most innocent being, 
who lived ten months. Felicius Simplex, her father, of 
the Sixth Legion Victorious, dedicated this." 1 The words 
"anime innocentissime " are also found on the Christian 
tombs in the Catacombs of Rome. 

Another large coffin of coarse grit, j\ feet long by 
2 feet II inches, found in the castle yard in 1835, is in- 
scribed on a panel : " To the Gods, the Manes. To Aurelius 
Superus, a Centurion of the Sixth Legion, who lived thirty- 
eight years, four months, and thirteen days, Aurelia Cen- 
sorina, his wife, set up this memorial." 

In the museum is a large tablet found in use as a cover 
to the sarcophagus of JE\ia Severa. The upper part shows 
the figure of a father and mother and two children. The 
inscription, so far as it can ibe read, is as follows : D.M. 
E C. From which it appears that " Caeresius ... a soldier 
of the Sixth Legion, raised this memorial to his wife, Flavis 
Augustina, who lived thirty-nine years, seven months, and 
eleven days ... to his son Augustinus, who lived one year 
and three days, and to a daughter, who lived one year, 

i Canon Raine took this inscription as a peg on which to hang his 
beautiful story of a Roman child's life, Simplicia Florentina, York, A.D. 


nine months, and five days," providing at the same time a 
memorial for himself. 1 

Another stone is inscribed: "To the Manes of JElia. 
Severa, who died aged twenty- seven years, eight months, 
and four days, once the wife of Caecilius Rufus. Csecilius 
Musicus, her freeman (her husband being dead), erected 
this monument to her memory." When found the letters 
were still filled with red paint. 

A sepulchral monument was found at Ilkley, in 1884, 
representing a female seated figure, with an imperfect in- 
scription beneath, which Mr. Watkin 2 read as follows : 
"To the divine shades of ... daughter of ... thirty 
years of age, a Conovian Citizen. Here she is laid." 
Mr. Watkin thinks the inscription unique, as it is the 
only inscription of a Conovian citizen which has been found 
in Britain. 

No one has turned his attention to the religion of the 
Romans in Britain, without earnestly and anxiously asking 
the question : " Are there any traces during the Roman 
period of the introduction of Christianity into Britain ? " 
Prior to 1901 not a trace of Christianity had been found 
among the innumerable religious and sepulchral monuments 
of the Roman period found in Britain. 3 But Mr. Platnauer 4 
maintains that there is " unequivocal evidence " of the intro- 
duction of Christianity into York, by the discovery of a 
coffin containing the bones of a young woman, inscribed : 

POTTERY. Few collections of Roman-British pottery 
can be compared with that preserved in York Museum. 
No Roman city or camp in England has yielded so vast 
a number of articles. They amount to over 750, and 
besides there are a multitude of other objects illustrating 

1 See M' Caul's Britanno-Roman Inscriptions, p. 217. 

2 Archaological Journal, vol. Hi. p. 153. 

8 Wright's The Celt, Roman, and Saxon, p. 355. 
* Handbook to York and District, 1906, p. 27. 



the life and manners of the Romans in York. Attention 
can only be called to a few items. 

Vestiges of Roman potteries have been traced at 
Middlethorp, Castle Howard, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, 
and in York, and there is every reason to believe that 
much of the pottery found at York and Aldborough is of 
local manufacture. Remains of kilns have been discovered 
at various places in England for instance, at Upchurch, 
Castor, in Staffordshire, &c. The black Upchurch ware 
is found more or less on almost all Roman sites, but 
Castor ware is by no means common. Samian ware is 
found in considerable quantities. Imitations of it have 
been made in Britain, but the genuine ware is believed 
to have been imported from the continent. Samian ware 
is of an extremely delicate texture, and distinguished by 
its compact nature, and its red or coral-coloured glaze. 
It was held in great esteem by the Romans, and exten- 
sively used by them for domestic purposes, but it is 
rarely found in other than a broken condition. Examples 
of all kinds are preserved in the York Museum, and to 
a lesser degree in the Aldborough Museum. Samian 
ware was of two kinds, embossed and plain. The former 
are commonly in the shape of bowls, or drinking cups, 
of various sizes. They are generally ornamented with a 
festoon and tassel border, and below that a variety of 
ornaments. Some represent scrolls of foliage, fruits, and 
flowers; other groups taken from mythological sources 
(e.g. Diana with her bow), others from hunting scenes 
(lions, boars, wolves, &c.), gladiatorial and kindred objects 
(one fine bowl is decorated with a string of captives 
chained together), bacchanalian processions, sacrificial 
ceremonies, the chase of wild animals, domestic scenes, 
and other objects connected with ancient customs. Some 
vases are ornamented with a singular pattern in relief, 
called the "frill pattern," which is thought to have been 
exclusively manufactured at York. The plain or em- 
bossed vessels of Samian ware are generally of a smaller 


size and of a great variety in form. Some are ornamented 
with a simple ivy leaf scroll on the rim. A large pro- 
portion of Samian ware has the name of the potter stamped 
on a label at the bottom of the inside, but sometimes it is 
on the outside. Over 78 potter's marks on vessels have 
been observed in the York Museum. One bowl found at 
York is 8J inches in diameter, exhibiting an armed soldier 
and other figures, with the maker's name, " Divixti," on 
the outside. 

Among the most important items of pottery were the 
"amphorae" or wine vessels. They are of large dimen- 
sions and strongly made, though rarely found unbroken. 
Two kinds are known, some long and slender, the other 
is more special in shape and shorter in the neck. Both 
sorts were pointed at the bottom, for the purpose, it is 
said, of fixing them in the earth. 

Another manufacture, in which the Romans attained 
to great excellence, was that of glass, much of it of 
extraordinary beauty. From the brittle character of the 
material, glass vessels are found in a perfect state much 
more seldom than pottery, and perfect specimens are 
rarely found, except in sepulchral interments. In some 
instances, the embossed ornaments are of an elaborate 
kind and extend to figures and inscriptions. In the York 
Museum is a fragment of a small bluish green glass vase, 
on the rim of which is represented a chariot race in the 
circus. On this portion of the rim is seen a quadriga 
with the charioteer, and part of the forelegs of the horses 
of another quadriga following, and between these the 
column bearing the seven ova, by means of which the 
spectators could count the number of rounds in the 
course which had been run, one of the ova being taken 
down at the completion of each course. 

Drinking cups are not infrequently found. " It was a 
trait of Roman sentiment both on the continent and in 
Britain to accompany familiar or domestic occupations 
with invocations of happiness or good fortune upon those 


who took part in them, and this seems to have been 
especially the case in their convivial entertainments." x In 
the York Museum are several vessels of dark clay pottery, 
ornamented with white lines or scrolls, and with inscrip- 
tions running round them, such as MISCEMI (" Mix for 
me "), DAMI (" Give me "), VIVAS (" May you live "), &c. 

YORK. The story of Roman Yorkshire is practically 
the story of Roman Eboracum (York). And for both we 
are almost wholly dependent upon lapidary inscriptions 
and the evidence of coins. Taking into consideration the 
long duration at York of the civil government of Britain, 
it is somewhat surprising that the literary notices of Roman 
York are so few and brief. 

The first literary and certain notice of York is to be 
found in Ptolemy's Geography, written some time in the 
reign of Antoninus Pius, which began in A.D. 138. In 
describing the British tribes he says : " And south from 
the Elgovae and the Otadem, stretching from sea to sea, 
are the Brigantes, among whose towns are Epiacum, 
Vinnoviam, Catarractonium, Calatum, Isurium, Rigodunum, 
Olicana, Eboracum (Legio Sexta Victrix), Camuulodonum ; 
besides these, about the well-havened bay, are the Parisi 
and the City Petuaria." 

Of the towns named lying within the boundaries of the 
modern Yorkshire, Catarractonium, Isurium, Olicana, and 
Cambodunum (spelt Camuulodonum by Ptolemy in error), 
are represented by the Roman stations at Thornborough, 
near Catterick, Aldborough, Ilkley, York, and Slack, near 
Halifax. Petuaria is undetermined, but is probably Beverley. 
When Ptolemy wrote his account of the Brigantes, it is 
evident York had then been occupied by the Romans for 
some time, as the Sixth Legion did not arrive in Britain 
until A.D. 117. When Roman York was founded is un- 
certain, and the probability is that it owes its foundation 

1 Wright, The Celt, Roman, and Saxon, p. 286. 


to Agricola, some thirty years earlier, and that it was 
colonised by the Ninth Legion about the year A.D. 80. 

There are two bronze tablets in the York Museum, 
which carry the evidence for the Roman occupation to 
a very early date. They were found in York, on the site 
of the old railway station. They are about 3 inches long 
by 2 inches broad, originally coated with silver, and bear 
punctured inscriptions in Greek of a very remarkable 
character. The tablets are votive offerings appended to 
shrines by a person called Demetrius the scribe. The 
first inscription is dedicated to the gods of the General's 
Praetorium, which contained altars or inscriptions to 
heathen deities. 1 The second inscription is dedicated to 
two marine divinities, Oceanus and Tethys. 

Canon Raine 2 (and the Rev. C. W. King) identify 
" Demetrius the scribe with Demetrius the grammarian, a 
native of Tarsus, whom Plutarch mentions in his Treatise 
on the Cessation of Oracles as visiting him at Delphi on his 
way home from Britain. He had been sent officially to 
that country by the Emperor Domitian, perhaps to enquire 
among other things into its products, especially in metals. 
. . . It is quite possible that Demetrius may have played his 
part in the endeavours of Agricola to teach letters and 
acquaintance with useful arts to the people whom he had 
helped to subdue." 

There are other inscriptions which give some indication 
of the early foundation of York. In 1854 part of a large 
inscribed tablet of limestone was discovered in digging a 
drain in King's Square, York. The inscription, which is 
arranged in six lines and beautifully cut, when perfect 
probably ran as follows : " The Emperor Caesar Nerva 
Trajan, son of the deified Nerva, Augustus, Germanicus, 
Dacicus, Chief Pontiff, invested the twelfth time with 

1 This inscription has been engraved as an illustration to Farrar's Life of 
Christ, ist ed., p. 764, under St. John xviii. 28, as " explanatory of the un- 
willingness of the Jews to enter into Pilate's Prcetorium, lest they should be 
denied by the heathen deities who were represented there." 

2 Historic I^OWMS (York), p. 16. 


Tribunitian powers, Consul the fifth time, Father of his 
country, caused this to be performed by the Ninth Legion 
(called) the Spanish." It is evident from the date 
assigned to this inscription (A.D. 108-9) ^ at Eboracum 
was already a walled city and a place of importance. 
What was the work " performed " referred to in this in- 
scription ? As the stone was found at King's Square, it 
may commemorate the building of the old official palace of 
the emperor. 

Another stone in the museum, known throughout Europe 
and thought to be a monument of the first century, is a 
monumental stone, 6 feet 2 inches high by 2 feet 2 inches 
wide, on which is the figure of a standard-bearer in an 
arched recess. In his right hand he holds the standard 
or signum of his cohort ; in his left, an object about 
which there has been much doubt. This stone was 
found about 1686, in Trinity Gardens, Micklegate, and 
the inscription may be read : " Lucius Duccius, Rufinus, 
son of Lucius, of the Voltinian tribe of Vienna, Standard- 
bearer of the Ninth Legion, aged twenty-eight, is buried 

Of the inscribed stones in the museum, two are of more 
than ordinary interest, not only for the story of their dis- 
covery, but as bearing upon the somewhat debatable ques- 
tion whether York was a Municipium as well as a Colonia. 
Camden in 1579-80 noticed a stone coffin near the city 
wall. In the following century it was carried to Hull, 
where it was seen by De la Pryne in 1699, and by Horsley 
in 1732. It was there used as a horse-trough, at an inn 
called the Coach and Horses. It then bore an inscription 
which read as follows : M. VEKEC DIOGENES ///// IVIR 
HAEC SIBI VIWS FECIT | which has been translated : 
" Marcus Verecundus Diogenes Sevir of the Colonia of 
Eboracum, and who died there a citizen of Biturix Cubus, 
caused these to be made for him during his lifetime." " The 
Seviri formed a college, or legal corporation, the duties of 


which are still imperfectly known. 1 They seem to have 
been taken from the more wealthy tradesmen, and to have 
much to do with public works of various kinds." 

From the occurrence of the word " hcec" it was pre- 
sumed that Diogenes had prepared a coffin for his wife 
while she was alive, and this presumption was confirmed 
by the discovery at York in 1877 of another coffin in an 
excellent state of preservation, with the following inscrip- 
GENI FIDA CONIVNCTA MARITO. There can be no doubt 
that we have here the tomb of Julia Fortunata, the wife of 
Diogenes, the Sevir of York. 

In 1872, a sarcophagus of a Decurion of the Colonia 
of Eboracum was discovered near the railway bridge. 
The coffin bears an inscription in faint characters : D M 

XXYIIII MENS (rest illegible). The editors of the 

Museum Catalogue, p. 54, say, " This inscription is of great 
importance, as it establishes the fact that Eboracum was a 
municipium, which was not previously known." 

When and by whom the fortifications of York were 
erected cannot be fixed with certainty. The Roman camp 
was placed on the left bank of the Ouse, almost parallel 
with and about 100 yards from the river. It was probably 
defended at first by a rampart of earth, subsequently super- 
seded by a stone wall. The camp was apparently at first 
rectangular, after the usual plan of a Roman camp of about 
540 yards by 480 yards. Four large towers stood at the 
angles : one still remains in the museum grounds, another 
was in Feasegate, a third at Monk Bar, and a fourth near 
the junction of Gillygate and Lord Mayor's Walk. Probably 
the camp was subsequently enlarged by an extension of the 
south-east wall, thereby converting the original rectangle 

1 For a discussion of the duties of Seviri see Kenrick's article in Pro- 
ceedings of Y.S.P., 1855, p. 52, " On the Sarcophagus of Marcus Verecundus 
Diogenes and the Civil Administration of Roman York ; " also Museum 
Handbook, p. 54. 


into a pentagon. Little of the Roman Wall is now to be 
seen above ground, but from excavations at various points 
its general direction can be ascertained on three sides with 
tolerable accuracy. The south-eastern side ran from Market 
Street to the angle tower in the ground of the Yorkshire 
Philosophical Society, known as the Multangular Tower ; 
the north-western side ran along the line of the present 
city wall to the corner of Gillygate and Lord Mayor's Walk, 
and is buried under the mediaeval earthworks upon which 
the present city wall rests ; the north-eastern side ran past 
Monk Bar (where about 120 yards of it, faced with the 
original ashlar blocks, may still be seen in the inner ram- 
part in Mr. Lund's yard) to a point near the site of the ' 
old church of St. Helen's-on-the- Walls. The direction of 
the south-eastern wall cannot be satisfactorily ascertained. 

Although York was the chief city of Roman Britain, it 
began as a camp, and a camp it remained in all its prin- 
cipal features until the Romans finally withdrew from 
Britain. Roman York only occupied a small part of the 
site of modern York. The camp always remained a sepa- 
rate area, enclosed by walls and constituting the official 
part of Eboracum. The auxiliaries, camp followers, and 
merchants occupied a small settlement outside the walls, 
and in process of time a considerable town sprang up 
on the opposite bank of the river, and on the side of 
the roads leading to Tadcaster (Calcaria) and Aldborough 
(Isurium). Remains of baths, temples, and villas were 
found on constructing the old railway station within the 
walls of mediaeval York on the south side of the river, 
and the site of the new station and hotel, which stand 
partly upon a Roman cemetery, has yielded many inscrip- 
tions and other mementoes of burial. 

Eboracum was intersected by several Roman roads. 
The road to Isurium (Aldborough) passed through Bootham 
Bar, which stands on the site of one of the gates of the 
Roman city, and may be in some parts Roman work j 
and a road in this direction has been traced, passing 



along the course of Stonegate and under the site of the 
choir of the Minster, which, like the Minster at Lincoln, 
stands within the area of the Roman camp. Some time 
ago the old Roman road, paved and concreted, was found 
about six feet below the modern pavement of Stonegate, 
and a peculiar channel of grooved stone was found running 
down the centre of it, similar to the grooved channel on 
the Roman road over Blackstone Edge. 

York cannot boast of such extensive masses of Roman 
work as are found at Richborough and at Brough near 
Yarmouth ; but it possesses, in the Multangular Tower and 
the portion of the wall adjoining on the easterly side, one 
of the most perfect Roman fortifications to be found in 

" The tower is a shell of masonry, presenting nine faces, 
45 feet in exterior diameter, and 24 feet wide at the gorge, 
which is open. It is not placed, as in mediaeval works, so 
as merely to cap the junction of two walls which would have 
met at a right angle, but the whole angle is superseded, 
as in Roman camps, by a curve of 50 feet radius, and the 
tower stands in the centre of this curve, three-quarters of it 
presenting its nine faces, being disengaged. The tower 
and its contiguous wall are 5 feet thick. The Roman 
part of the wall is about 15 feet high. It is of rubble, 
faced on either front with ashlar, the blocks being from 
4 to 5 inches cube. There is one band of five courses of 
bricks, each brick 17 inches by II inches by 2\ inches, 
that may be traced along both tower and wall, although the 
surface of both has been much patched and injured. Upon 
the Roman work has been placed an ashlar upper storey, 
composed of larger stones, about 3 feet thick and 12 feet 
high, pierced by nine cuniform loops, one in each face, and 
each set in a pointed recess. This addition is of early 
English or early decorated date. The wall extending south- 
west from the tower for 53 yards is of the same date, 
material, and workmanship. Both having escaped destruc- 
tion in the post-Roman period, were incorporated into the 


defences of the later city. The wall on the other side of 
the tower, running eastwards, has been partially destroyed, 
and is now only 4 feet high, and at a short distance 
becomes buried in a later bank. This part of the wall was 
evidently destroyed before the earthwork was thrown up, 
for not only is it buried within the bank, but the wall 
of the mediaeval city is here found 4 feet in front of it, and 
in other places many feet above it." l 

A considerable portion of the Roman wall near St. 
Leonard's Place and Bootham Bar was removed to make 
the present entrance into the city. It was then found that 
the wall stood upon piles of oak 2 feet 6 inches in length, 
and on these was raised a mass of concrete 2 feet 3 inches 
in depth, then an ashlar wall of stone with courses of brick 
near its centre. The wall was about 4 feet 10 inches thick, 
diminishing gradually to 4 feet at the height of 16 feet. 
It was furnished internally with guard-rooms and turrets, 
still to be seen under the rampart behind St. Leonard's 
Place, and strengthened by angle towers, now buried under 
the rampart of the city wall. 

ISURIUM. 2 Aldborough, on the Ure, is no doubt the 
ancient Isurium mentioned by Ptolemy as one of the towns 
of the Brigantes, and by other writers as their capital and 
the seat of Queen Cartismandua. It is twice mentioned 
in the Itinerary, where in one place it is called " Isu 
Brigantium." There seem to be indications that Isurium 
was originally a more important place than York, and 
that the second and fifth Itinera originally ran direct to 
Aldborough, leaving York to the right, and that it was 
only when York became the headquarters of the Romans 
that the routes of the troops to the north were directed 
to pass through York. 

1 G. T. Clark " On the Defences of York," in Yorks. A. and 7\ Journal, 
vol. iv. p. 7. 

2 See " Reliquiae Isurianse," by H. Ecroyd Smith, 1852, and "A Survey 
of Isurium," by the late Dr. A. H. D. Leadman, Yorkshire Archaeological 
Journal, vol. xii. p. 4 12 - 


But be that as it may, Isurium was at all events the 
second place of importance in Yorkshire under the Romans, 
and in no other place except York, have so many extensive 
remains of Roman civilisation been found. After the 
Romans withdrew from Britain, Isurium continued to 
flourish, until about 766, when Higden (Polychronica) 
asserts that Isurium was burnt by the Danes, and it 
is said that traces of fire are still visible upon parts 
of the walls. 

The Roman camp was walled like that at York, but 
without angle towers. It formed an oblong parallelogram, 
irregular in shape on the north, the length being about 
1940 feet, and the breadth about 1320, and enclosing an 
area of about 60 acres. 1 The walls can still be traced, 
and vary from n to 16 feet in thickness. They are built 
of red sandstone mixed with magnesian limestone. Some 
of the exposed portions in Mr. Lawson's grounds are in 
excellent preservation. 

Isurium was intersected by two Roman roads, Watling 
Street and Ermine Street, and appears to have had no 
gate to the north. A mile from the east gate is a piece 
of Roman road, about 500 yards in length, which, Dr. 
Leadman says, is " the sole remaining bit in the district." 
The church at Aldborough stands in the very centre of 
the camp, and is partly built with Roman material, and 
has built into the walls a figure of Mercury. 

Numerous tesselated pavements, in all about twenty- 
five, have been discovered at Aldborough, but only seven 
remain in situ ; five are preserved, but not in situ, three 
others have been sold to museums. One of the very finest, 
representing a she-wolf with two children on the ground 
under her, is now in the museum of the Leeds Philo- 
sophical Society. In the garden of the Aldburge Arms 

1 The best plan of the camp is that in the Yorkshire Archaeological 
', prepared by the Ordnance Surveyors, with Dr. Leadman's 

assistance, and it will be noted that it differs on the north from Mr. Ecroyd 
Smith's plan in excluding certain fields known as "under the walls" from the 
area of the camp. 


are two very fine ones protected by buildings. The first 
was accidentally discovered in 1832, and the central picture 
represents an animal resting beneath a palm tree. The 
other, found in 1848 by Mr. H. E. Smith, is one of the 
most beautiful and probably the most perfect in Yorkshire. 
The so-called Roman Basilica was discovered in 1846. It 
is a building 52 feet in length and 12 feet in width, and has 
an apsidal end. In the apse is the lower half of a figure, 
draped in long flowing robes, the hands holding a scroll, 
on which are the fragments of a Greek inscription, which 
Mr. Leadman renders " Have pity " (?) and thinks the 
building to have been a temple of justice. 

In Mr. Lawson's grounds is a museum where Roman 
remains discovered at Aldborough are preserved. Among 
them is a tile marked " Leg Ix Hisp," from which it has been 
conjectured that Isurium was at one time garrisoned by the 
Ninth Legion. Although many tesselated pavements have 
been discovered in York and Aldborough, none appear to 
have been found farther north than Well and Harpham. 

ILKLEY. Until the middle of the last century Ilkley 
remained much in the same state as when Whitaker l saw 
it in 1771. After remarking that the town of Ilkley was 
almost barred up by trackless wastes and impracticable 
roads upon every quarter other than the great post-road 
from Kendal to York, he describes the town as lying 
"snug in the hollow of a valley, mean, dirty, and insig- 
nificant, known only to the antiquarian for some curious 
inscriptions that have been discovered at it, and to the 
invalid for a fine spring of mineral water that had been 
found about a mile from it." 

Ilkley is no doubt the " Olicana " mentioned by Ptolemy 
as one of the chief " towns of the Brigantes," but is not 
mentioned either in the Itinerary or the Notitia. The 
numerous springs of clear, cold water, and the pleasant 

1 History of Manchester, vol. i. p. 141. 


situation of the settlement, lying on the banks of the swift 
flowing Wharfe ("Wherfe") between the wild moorlands 
of Rumald and Middleton, recommended "Olicana" to the 
Romans for a station, the remains of which still exist on 
the south side of the Wharfe. In the absence of a proper 
survey, the extent of the camp can only be conjectured. 
In Whitaker's time, and until recently, it could be clearly 
traced. He says : 

" The site is admirably defended by the Wherfe (Wharfe) in front, and by 
two brooks at the sides. The Wharfe glides along the northern front of it. 
A very narrow level of boggy ground ranges between the river, and that and 
the area look down from a steep brow of 25 or 30 yards in height ; the 
western brook had half its waters diverted into another channel . . . the 
eastern brook is remarkably brisk, and runs about 20 yards below the crest 
of the brow, and both of them discharge their waters into the Wherfe, a few 
yards below the station. The whole area is about 100 yards by 1 60 ... 
the whole extent of the area contained about 4 acres of ground, encompassing 
a building called ' the Castle,' and including the church and its area, and 
the vallum of the station presents itself to the eye at the north-western angle, 
and is easily discovered under the turf along the whole compass of the brows, 
being the rough sable flagstones of the country cemented together with 
indissoluble mortar." 

In 1905-6 Brook Street was extended northwards to 
the river, and in the construction of the new road the 
easterly side of the camp was cut away, but though large 
fragments of Roman pottery were found, the excavation 
disclosed no Roman remains of any importance. 

The Roman settlement extended far beyond the limit 
of the camp, as is evidenced by numerous fragments from 
time to time unearthed in excavations. Most of these 
have been found between Church Street and the Grove, 
and some are to be seen in the local Museum of Ilkley. A 
Roman well, the sides of which were held up by oaken 
slabs of great thickness, was found in the middle of Brook 
Street, and the pavement of the Roman road still exists 
beneath the Ilkley Hospital buildings and grounds. 

Many inscriptions, formerly found at Ilkley, have dis- 
appeared. When Camden visited Ilkley in 1582, he saw 


an inscribed stone lately dug up, but which is now lost: 
"To the Emperors Severus, Augustus, and Antonius, 
Caesar elect, restored under the care of Virius Lupus, 
their Legate and Pro-Praetor." 

From this inscription we may conjecture that Virius 
Lupus repaired or fortified the camp at Ilkley between 
198-210 A.D. 

At Myddleton Lodge is preserved an altar with an 
inscription now illegible but which Camden says was 
dedicated : " To Verbia Sacred Clodius Fronto, Prefect of 
the Cohort, Second Lingones." 

In 1867 a tablet, 5 feet 8 inches long and 3 feet 4 inches 
wide, was unearthed. It is figured in Turner and Collier's 
Ilkley (p. 28), where it is said to represent a family group, 
father, mother, and child, but the space for the names 
is left blank. 

MALTON. Although Malton is not mentioned in any of 
the Roman Itineraries, it was certainly one of the most 
important of Roman stations, and was the site of a con- 
siderable camp, probably occupied by the Ninth Legion. 
The camp extended south of Malton Lodge (which is built 
on its vallum) towards the river and formed a large quad- 
rangle, with a smaller enclosure at the south-east angle 
opposite the Praetorian Gate. A road leaving the camp 
by the Praetorian Gate crossed the river at a ford by the 
island to a small square camp constructed for the defence of 
the fort, but this camp has been built over and is no longer 
traceable. The' road passed southwards towards Londes- 
borough, where it fell into another Roman road. In 1861 
and 1862 the road to the ford was cut through and exposed 
in several places in making drains. At old Malton a monu- 
ment of somewhat remarkable character was found, prob- 
ably the sign of a Roman goldsmith named Servulus. 
The inscription is within a tablet or label, roughly cut, 
and reads as follows : FELICITER SIT GENIO LOCI SERVVLE 



it that it is a votive inscription of a genius loci, and was 
probably affixed to the goldsmith's house to which it 

Not only was Malton a permanent Roman station, but 
many roads radiated from and to it. Mr. Codrington * pointed 
out how little York seems to have been considered in laying 
out the Roman roads on the east of Yorkshire. Roman 
roads have been traced from Malton northwards by Barton 
le Street, Appleton le Street, and Hovingham in the direc- 
tion of Thirsk, Northallerton, and Catterick. Westward 
by Fearsley camp to Isurium (Aldborough), southward to 
Stamford Bridge and York, and eastwards by Wharram le 
Street in the direction of Bridlington, and northward by 
Wade's Causeway to near Whitby. 

i Roman Roads in Britain, 2nd edit., p. 384. 



THE royal forests or districts reserved as the hunting- 
grounds 01 our kings and those deputed to serve 
them occupied a very considerable part of the vast 
area of Yorkshire. 

The chief royal forests of the county were Galtres, 
Hatfield, Knaresborough, Skipton, Pickering, and those of 
the Wensleydale or Richmond district. The woodlands of 
the honour of Pontefract approximated in several respects 
to the definition of a forest. To these another important 
old forest region, almost entirely forgotten as a forest for 
many a long century, must be added, namely, that of the 
Ouse and Derwent in the East Riding. It is proposed in 
this brief sketch to give a few words on each of these 
forests, and then to give more particular attention to the 
one that occupied the whole of an important East Riding 

A few preliminary words must, however, be first put on 
record with regard to England's mediaeval forests in general, 
as the whole subject is so often misunderstood. To begin 
with, the present-day use of the term " forest " differs con- 
siderably from the signification that it bore in earlier times. 
A forest did not originally mean a district covered with trees 
or underwood. The English word "forest" signified, in 
Norman, Plantagenet, and early Tudor times, a portion of 

territory consisting of extensive waste lands, but including 



a certain amount of both woodland and pasture, circum- 
scribed by definite metes or bounds, within which the 
right of hunting was reserved exclusively to the king and 
his nominees, and which was subject to a special code 
of laws administered by local as well as central ministers. 
From the fact that so many wastes were covered with 
wood or undergrowth, it gradually came about that the 
term " forest " (which has no etymological connection with 
timber, but means a waste) was applied to a great wood. 
Such a consideration as this at once explains the applica- 
tion of the name forest to districts like Dartmoor, Exmoor, 
or the High Peak of Derbyshire, where it is idle to pretend 
that anything more than mere fragments of these great 
tracts were ever wooded in the time of man. Taking 
one with another, there is little doubt that by far the 
larger part of the area of the Yorkshire forests was never 

The popular idea as to the cruel severity of the Forest 
Laws seldom takes into account that this early severity 
was greatly modified by the Forest Charter of 1217. King 
John had been compelled to agree, by one of the articles 
of Magna Charta, to the disafforesting of all the great 
tracts of country which he had made forest during his 
own reign, and the child-king, Henry III., who was made 
to issue his Forest Charter two years later, covenanted 
by that ordinance, in consideration of a grant to the Crown 
of one-fifteenth of all movables of the kingdom, to dis- 
afforest all lands that had been made forest by Henry II. 
It was not, however, until March 1274-75, that the last of 
the special perambulations of forests, by twelve knights 
elected for the purpose, were made in order to carry out 
the disafforesting provisions of the charter. 

Forests were under the rule of frequently held courts, 
usually termed swainmotes, presided over by local officials, 
and under the fitfully held eyres, or forest pleas, for graver 
offences, presided over by the crown-appointed justices in 



Forest offences were divided into two main classes : 
venison, concerning all matters relative to hunting, destroy- 
ing, or interfering with the game ; and vert, concerning all 
matters relative to the due preservation of the timber and 

Much of the property within a forest district, including 
woods and parks, was often private property, but in such 
cases the private rights were decidedly limited. Thus the 
owner of a wood within a forest might not fence it in so 
high as to exclude the deer, nor might he fell or sell its 
timber without royal sanction. 1 

includes the large forest district of Richmond in the West 
Riding, where there were a considerable number of wild 
dales and woods to the north-west of Richmond which were 
for a time at least subject to forest law, and sometimes 
retained that title long after they had been disafforested. 
The actual forest of Wensleydale extended up the Ure 
valley to the confines of Westmorland ; it was about eighteen 
miles in length, with an average of six miles in width. The 
forests of the Earls of Richmond included, besides that of 
Wensleydale, all Applegarth and Arkengarthdale, as well as 
that part of Stainmore included in the parish of Bowes. 
North-west was Lune forest, whilst southward lay Bishops- 
dale Chase. Middleham, where stood the magnificent castle 
of the Nevills, was for a long period the centre of the forest 
government of Wensleydale. There is much information at 
the Public Record Office with regard to the parks which 

1 There has been much misapprehension, until quite recent years, on the 
subject of England's royal forests. Marwood's work, written in Elizabethan 
days, when the old forest laws and customs were already in abeyance, is quite 
unreliable in various particulars, especially with regard to the beasts of the 
forest. Turner's Select Pleas of the Forests (Selden Society, 1901) is the one 
scholarly book on the question. See also the more popular Royal Forests 
(1905) by Dr. Cox. The chapter in this latter work on Yorkshire forests gives 
many particulars as to the forests of Galtres and Pickering. The Victoria 
County History scheme, as it proceeds, gives a section on forestry for each 


used to encircle Middleham. Swaledale was the last refuge 
of the red deer of this once great stretch of forest; they 
remained here in considerable numbers as late as 1723. 
There are full particulars extant with regard to an eyre 
held at Middleham in August 1539 by the forest justices 
for all that part of Richmond. 

THE FOREST OF PICKERING. Pickering Lythe, or 
Liberty, comprised a great stretch of woodland in early 
days. The Domesday Survey gives the rough measure- 
ment of this great wood (silva) as about twenty-four miles 
in length and six in breadth. 1 This measurement seems to 
indicate the whole wapentake of Pickering, and this would 
be one of those rare cases in which a " forest " was almost 
entirely woodland, save for the clearings round the villages or 
settlements. This forest was of great repute for both wild 
boars and roe deer, as well as for the red deer that roamed 
at large, and the fallow deer of the large park of Blandsby. 
The tithe of the deer belonged to St. Mary's Abbey, York. 
The manuscript information with regard to Pickering forest 
is most abundant and full of interest ; its story would make 
an entertaining volume. Many of the documents pertaining 
to it have been transcribed by Mr. Turton for the second 
series of the North Riding Record Society. 

THE FOREST OF KNARESBOROUGH, with its three baili- 
wicks or wards, covered a wide extent of country round the 
castle of Knaresborough ; its length, from east to west, was 
twenty miles, and its breadth, from north to south, was in 
some parts eight miles. Originally a royal forest, it became 
a chase when Henry III. granted it to Henry de Burgh, 
Earl of Kent, and his heirs. On the earl joining the 
standard of Simon de Montford, the house of Knares- 
borough was forfeited to the Crown, and was bestowed on 
Richard, Earl of Cornwall. When Edmund, second Earl of 

1 The l-uca or league of Domesday was probably about a mile and a half in 


Cornwall, died in 1300, Knaresborough again reverted to 
the Crown, when the district again came under forest law. 
The final extinction of the remnant of this forest came about 
through an Act of Inclosure of 1770. 

THE FOREST OF SKIPTON occupied the central part 
of the wide district of Craven, in the West Riding, and 
was chiefly of a rocky character. It extended east and 
west from the Wharfe to the Aire, comprising an area 
of about six miles by four. Partly subject to it, but having 
its own minor forest officials, was the adjacent smaller 
forest of Barden. There can be no reasonable doubt that 
the present red deer in the Duke of Devonshire's park of 
Bolton are the descendants of those that used to roam at 
large through the forest districts of Craven. 

HATFIELD CHASE was a great swampy area, with a 
few patches of woodland, situated on the eastern boundary 
of the West Riding, to the north-east of Doncaster. It 
also ran a short distance into the adjacent counties of 
both Lincoln and Nottingham. A chase differed from a 
forest in being the property of a subject and not of a 
sovereign ; but though this chase came to the Crown in 
the fourteenth century, and remained under forest law for 
some three centuries, it never lost its older appellation. 
The central area of upwards of 70,000 acres was known 
as the Level of Hatfield Chase ; but the purlieus or out- 
lands on the borders, over which there were certain rights 
of following the deer, and where the inhabitants dare not 
do more than scare them away, were of still greater extent. 
The whole run of the chase, including the purlieus, amounted 
to about 180,000 acres. The full story of this chase, which 
has never been written, abounds in interest. It was held 
by the great family of the Warrens, Earls of Surrey, from 
the Conquest down to 1347. After it had come to the 
Crown, Edward Baliol, the ex-King of Scotland, was 
allowed to hunt both red and roe deer on this chase, 


as well as fallow deer within the park of Hatfield. 
In the time of Henry VIII. the swanneries of the chase 
were an important royal asset. At the beginning of the 
reign of James I., when the red deer of Hatfield were 
estimated at a thousand head, there was some remark- 
able hunting indulged in by Prince Henry. This chase 
ceased to be a "forest" in 1626, when it was drained 
under the direction of Cornelius Vermuyden. 

THE FOREST OF GALTRES, in the centre of the county, 
stretched away from the very gates of York for fifteen miles 
due north to the summit of Crayke Hill, and nearly twenty 
miles north-west to the ancient town of Aldborough. It 
was a favourite hunting-ground of the Saxon kings. The 
notices of this forest, from the time of Henry III. down- 
wards, are very frequent. Successive kings frequently 
drew on its stores of red and fallow deer, as well as of 
timber, for making presents to their favourites. The records 
of the Swainmote Courts of this forest are unusually com- 
plete for the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The forest 
pleas of 1538 supply much information. During the great 
Civil War this forest suffered severely ; the whole district 
was disafforested in the reign of Charles 1 1. 

of the wapentake of Ouse and Derwent formed in early 
days one of the largest forest districts of Yorkshire, but 
its existence as a forest, owing to its disafforesting being 
purchased of Henry III., has been overlooked by almost 
every historian or topographist who has written about 
the county. 

The wapentake of Ouse and Derwent, which forms the 
south-western division of the East Riding, touches the 
limits of the city of York at the north-west angle, and 
has the old high-road that stretches north-east from York 
to Stamford Bridge as its northern boundary. The river 
Ouse forms its western and southern boundary ; whilst the 


river Derwent is the eastern boundary from Stamford Bridge 
to Barmby in the south, where it falls into the Ouse. Its 
extreme length is nearly twenty miles, and the average width 
about seven miles. Within the confines of this wapen- 
take are the following parishes or townships : Barlby, Bow- 
thorpe, Brackenholme, Deighton, Dunnington, Elvington, 
Escrick, Gate Fulford, Grimston, Hemingborough, Hesling- 
ton, Kelfield, Kexby, Langwith, Menthorpe, Moreby, Naburn, 
North Duffield, Osgodby, Riccall, Scoreby, Skipwith, South 
Duffield, Stamford Bridge, Stillingfleet, Thorganby, Water 
Fulford, Wheldrake, and Woodall. The whole of this 
territory used to be under forest rule. 

The earliest record entries that we have met with of this 
forest occur in the year 1220. In April of that year the 
king committed the wardship of the forest between the 
Ouse and Derwent to John Cawood, who had exercised 
a like control in the days of King John. He was to hold 
the office of bailiff of the forest until it was decided whether 
a previous perambulation of the metes and bounds was a 
just one, and whether the sworn knights had been inter- 
fered with during their perambulation. 1 In the following 
June, Cawood received a royal precept instructing him to 
allow the brethren of the leper house of St. Nicholas, York, 
to have reasonable estover (or peat cutting for fuel) within 
this forest, as they had been wont to do in the reigns of 
Henry II. and John. 2 

In the same month, when the king was at York, orders 
were issued to the knights, free tenants, and others of the 
forest of Ouse and Derwent that they were to appear at the 
place and time indicated, before Ilger Hemelseye, Ralph de 
Babbethorp, and Gerard de Skipwic, the verderers, and 
John de Cawood, chief forester, to answer in all things 
pertaining to the forest, in the same manner that they 
had been wont to do in the time of King John. 3 

1 Close Rolls, 4 Hen. III., m. u ; Patent Rolls, 4 Hen. III., m. 6. 
a Close Rolls, 4 Hen. III., m. 9. 
* Patent Rolls, 4 Hen. III., m. 5. 


The next time that we have any record history of this 
forest is in connection with the terrible gale that disas- 
trously affected almost the whole of England towards the 
end of the year 1222. It was the incidental cause of 
furnishing the longest list extant, of an early date, of 
the royal forests. The windfall was so considerable, that 
the Crown issued orders suspending the usual custom 
that prevailed as to fallen boughs or uprooted trees, and 
commanding the forest officials at once to draw up careful 
valuations of their worth. Letters to this effect were 
despatched, -as we know from the Patent Rolls, inter alia, 
to the verderers and foresters of fee of the Yorkshire 
forest inter Usam et Derewentem. At the same time 
Brian de Insula, the warden, keeper, and chief forester 
of the two forests of Galtres and Ouse and Derwent, 
received like orders. 

On January 30, 1223, the king appointed four special 
commissioners, Robert de Percy, William de Ard, Henry 
de Ferlinton, and Hugh de Uppeshall, to act with the 
elected verderers of the forests of Ouse and Derwent and 
Galtres, in selling the whole of the great amount of 
windfall resulting from the storm. Adam of York was 
nominated by the Crown to act as their clerk. All the 
money resulting from such sales was to be placed, together 
with a roll of particulars, in the custody of some religious 
house within their bailiwick, until further orders. The 
chest containing the money was to be sealed with the 
seal of the Sheriff of Yorkshire, in addition to the seals 
of the commissioners. 1 

In order to obtain yet further particulars as to the 
result of the great storm, the king, in the following month, 
ordered the sheriffs, in conjunction with the foresters and 
verderers of the various counties, to appoint regarders to hold 
a general view or formal regard of their respective forests. 
But in the case of Yorkshire and four other counties, it was 

1 Patent Rolls, 7 Hen. III., m. 6d. 


ordered that an eyre, or court of forest pleas, should be at 
once held by the chief justice of the forests. 1 

Shortly after this, Hugh de Nevill was appointed to the 
wardenship of both this forest and that of its neighbour of 
Galtres. In April 1224, Hugh was ordered to allow Robert 
de Ros to take six harts in Ouse and Derwent forest as a 
royal gift. 2 In July of the same year the king gave Richard 
de Percy six oaks out of this forest, together with six out 
of Galtres, for house-building purposes. At the same time, 
a mandate was issued to Hugh de Nevill ordering that 
these oaks were to be provided without delay, and further 
providing that if any of Richard de Percy's knights who 
held woods in these forests desired to supply him with 
timber out of such woods, no impediment was to be 
offered to the felling of such timber, nor was any 
cheminage or way-leave to be demanded for its transit 
through the forest. 3 

In the following September royal letters were sent to 
the foresters of Ouse and Derwent, to the effect that the king 
was about to send Master Giles, his huntsman, with hounds, 
to take red deer. At the same time the Sheriff of Yorkshire 
was ordered to provide Giles with necessaries and expenses 
for hunting in this forest and in Galtres. 4 

Perambulations of the Yorkshire forests, in accordance 
with the Forest Charter, were made in 1219, and again in 
1224-25, when the evidence as to the date of the afforesting 
of the Ouse and Derwent wapentake, or parts of it, appear 
to have been conflicting, and not sufficient to bring about 

A further perambulation of the royal forests of Yorkshire 
was undertaken in the year 1229. The perambulators testified 
before the king, in October, that the whole of the forests of 
Galtres, of Ouse and Derwent, and of Farndale were all 

1 Patent Rolls, 7 Hen. III., m. $ 

2 Close Rolls, 8 Hen. III., m. 7. 

3 Ibid., 8 Hen. III., pt. ii., m. 10. 

4 Ibid., 8 Hen. III., pt. ii., m. 5. 


ancient forests, and they had been deceived in a previous 
perambulation, when evidence had been given as to certain 
parts of these forests having been newly afforested. There- 
upon the Sheriff of Yorkshire was ordered to make pro- 
clamation through the whole of his bailiwick that each of 
these forests was to be under the like custody that had 
prevailed in the days of King John. 1 

A forest regard of Ouse and Derwent and Galtres was 
ordered to be held in the spring of 1232. But on May 8, 
Brian de Insula, forest justice, was ordered to see that no 
regard was at present to be made in the lands and fees 
of the Bishop of Durham, within the forest of Ouse and 
Derwent, and that all such regard and pleas of the forest 
pertaining to the bishopric were to be deferred until fifteen 
days after the ensuing Michaelmas. The dispute that had 
arisen between the bishop and the Crown as to this regard 
was adjourned a little later, until the Octave of St. Martin, 
and subsequently until the Octave of St. Hilary in the 
following year. 2 Further adjournments deferred the matter 
at issue to Easter, and finally to Michaelmas 1 233.3 

This long-sustained dispute seems to have been eventu- 
ally settled by the disafforesting of the whole district. It 
would appear that the powerful Bishop of Durham pleaded 
his palatinate rights as freeing him and his tenants from any 
necessity to appear before any forest courts or to obey any 
forest regulations. 

A palatinate has been well described as "a territory 
throughout which its proprietor enjoys and exercises certain 
rights and privileges, commonly called jura regalia, as fully 
and entirely as a sovereign himself does elsewhere within the 
realm in which such territory is situate." The point, how- 
ever, in this case, was whether these exceptional rights pre- 
vailed on his manors or properties that were outside the 
Durham diocese. 

1 Close Rolls, 13 Hen. III., m. 2id 

* Ibid., 16 Hen. III., ms. n, 2 ; 17 Hen. III. m. 16. 

8 Ibid., 17 Hen. III., ms. 13, 8. 


Peter de Ryvall, who held so many royal appointments, 
was the last bailiff of the Ouse and Derwent forest. In 
February 1234, Peter received a mandate to allow William 
of York, a justice in eyre, to have eight oaks out of this 
forest. 1 This was apparently the last royal gift out of these 

This wapentake eventually ceased to be under forest law 
on July 4, 1234. On that date the forest of Ouse and 
Derwent was formally disafforested by a decree of Henry III., 
addressed to William, Archbishop of York, Richard, Bishop 
of Durham, Robert, Abbot of St. Mary's, York, and to the 
freemen and all others, both cleric and lay, who held lands 
between the two rivers. 2 

For the privilege of release from forest jurisdiction, the 
district between the two rivers was called upon to pay the 
heavy fine of eighty marks. This fine is mentioned in a 
royal grant of remission, dated September 25, 1234, excusing 
the nuns of Thicked, in the parish of Wheldrake, from the 
payment of their share, which amounted to six marks and 
four shillings. 3 

The clauses of the charter of disafforesting provided, 
with much elaboration, that all lands and tenements 
between the Ouse and the Derwent were henceforth 
to be free from "regard" or formal inspection, from 
supervision by foresters and verderers, and all such 
ministers, and from pleas of the forest and of the foresters 
both of venison and vert. Moreover, all tenants of lands 
throughout the district were for the future permitted, not 
only to enclose their woods and wastes, and to make parks, 
but to clear and till ground, to do as they desired with 
timber in the way of using, giving, or selling it, and even 
to take venison without any interference from foresters, 
verderers, or regarders. Also they were to be permitted 
to draw timber freely without cheminage or way-leave or 

i Close Rolls, 18 Hen. III., m. 30. 
* Ibid. 18 Hen. III., m. 15. 
3 Ibid., m. 6. 


any interference. The charter likewise provided for putting 
an end to all minor forest courts, such as swainmotes, and 
to the Jawing of dogs. The ancient liberties and free 
customs of the bishopric of Durham, of the archbishopric 
of York, and the Abbey of St. Mary's, York, were also 
specially exempted from interference. 1 

An entry in Bishop Kellawe's palatine register (1311- 
1318), immediately following the transcript of the disaf- 
foresting charter, sets forth that previously every vill of 
this forest had common rights over all the wastes between 
the two waters, but that " from that time there have been 
approvements made by all the lords of the vills, both small 
and great, between the waters of the Ouse and Derwent, 
from the wastes at their will, and without disturbance, and 
without asking leave of the lords or of the tenants of the 
vills near or distant ; but that the free tenants, who hold 
according to the ancient bounds of the vill where the 
approvement is made, may have share of the approve- 
ment according to the quantity of their tenements, because 
they contributed to the ransom ; and because the common 
is used, and ought to be, as it was before when forest ; 
that is to say, each vill between Sogflet and the bridge of 
Battle (Stamford Bridge) may common in all seasons in 
moors and in woods and in unenclosed woods, except in 
the Haye of Langwathe; and also may common at open 
times, in fields and in meadows after corn and hay have 
been carried." The latter part of this Norman-French 
document is somewhat obscure and doubtful ; but it 
appears to defend fields and meadows against the pas- 
turage of stray beasts, or those unaccompanied by 
proper herdsmen with horn and staff. Reference is also 
made to difficulties that had arisen since disafforest- 
ing between lords and tenants of vills who had approved 
all their own wastes, greatly desiring that their neigh- 
bours, who had large wastes, should be prevented from 

1 Reg. Pal. Dun. (Rolls Series), ii. 1 183-85! 


making approvement, because they wished to common 
therein. It is stated, however, that the usage of every vill 
being entitled to make its own approvement as it listed 
was told and pleaded by twelve sworn men before the 
justices in eyre, whereupon it was agreed that the usage 
had been kept up so long that they held it law. This 
judgment was afterwards confirmed by enrolment at 
seven of the eyres held at York. Moreover, Sir Roger 
de Turkelby, who was justice in three eyres throughout 
England, and also lord of the vill of North Duffield 
between the waters, did not disturb this usage through- 
out all his domain. 1 

Escrick Park (Lord Wenlock), which contains some 
450 acres of rich pasture lands, fringed with woods, and 
dotted over with clumps of forest trees, is about the centre 
of this old royal forest. The woodland area of this estate 
is about 1700 acres; it is one of the very few parts of 
the Ouse and Derwent wapentake that has probably re- 
mained chiefly woodland since the days of Henry III., 
when it ceased to be forest. 

1 Reg. Pal. Dun., ii. 1185-87; iii. 534-35. 



THE early history of York is involved in much 
obscurity. Around the old city the ancient 
chroniclers have cast a wondrous glamour, carry- 
ing the mind back, by fable and legend, to men and 
things contemporary with the early kings of Israel ! 
When David was ruling over the destinies of the Chosen 
Race, King Ebrauc, these old writers tell us, built the 
city on the north bank of the Humber, and called it 
after his own name Caer Ebrauc ; and then they give 
us a long line of successors to this " man of mighty 
strength," furnishing occasional narratives of wonderful 
events which happened before the dawn of Christianity. 

These stories, of course, the modern historian rejects 
as being essentially fabulous, but there is doubtless a 
substratum of truth underlying them. If, however, the 
account of Ebraucus and his royal successors must be 
rejected, there still remains the fact that, when the Romans 
came to Britain with their conquering legions, they found 
on the banks of the Humber the town whose history the 
chroniclers have sought to elucidate by their interesting 
stories Caer Ebrauc. 

That this was the ancient British name of the northern 
capital there can be no reasonable doubt. What was the 
origin of the name, if the old chroniclers' explanation be 
regarded as untrustworthy, is a matter of uncertainty, 
various theories having been advanced from time to time. 
But whatever the source of the name, it seems clear that 
the Roman conquerors simply latinised that which they 


found, calling it Ebraucum, and then for the sake of 
euphony slightly altering it to Eboracum, or Eburacum. 
This would certainly seem to be the correct sequence 
that Eboracum is the Latin form of the pre-Roman Ebrauc, 
and not Ebrauc the abbreviated Eboracum. 

The recognition of this fact should help to settle the 
oft -disputed point concerning the pronunciation of the 
Roman name of the city. For generations antiquaries 
have been divided as to whether the a in Eboracum should 
be long or short, and to this day it is spoken of sometimes 
as Eboracum, and sometimes as Ebordcum, though the 
former seems now to be the generally adopted pronuncia- 
tion. But, in spite of the general acceptance of the short 
a, the accented penultimate would seem to be more con- 
sonant with the origin of the name, as also with the evi- 
dence furnished by mediaeval metrical writers. Recognising 
the continental pronunciation of the first English vowel, 
it is easy to see that Ebraucum would be modified by the 
Romans to Eboracum and not Eb6racum, and the hymn 
addressed to St. William of York evidently preserves the 
right quantity : 

" Statu causse reformato 

Rom am petit iterate 

Nullis adversantibus. 

Eboracum presul redit 

Pontis casus nullum ledit 
De tot turbse millibus." 

York Missal (Surtees Soc. ) ii. 45. 

What kind of a city the Celtic Ebrauc was which the 
Romans found must be left more or less to the imagina- 
tion. Scarcely nowadays should we dignify it with the 
name of a town. It would doubtless be one of those oppida 
which, Caesar tells us, were simply wild woods enclosed 
with walls and ditches, in which the inhabitants were 
accustomed to assemble in order to evade the incursions 
of the enemy (De Bello Gall., v. 21). An irregular collec- 
tion of primitive dwellings, in a low-lying district well 
wooded and well watered, the inhabitants clad in animal 


skins, and their bodies curiously painted with strange 
devices, living on the products of the chase or the river 
such is the picture of pre-Roman York presented to us 
by the old writers, and there is no reason to doubt its 
accuracy. But, with all its primitiveness, the place was 
well situated, possessing ample natural means of defence, 
and connected with the sea by a most useful navigable 
river ; and when the Romans came, they were not slow to 
see its strategic importance. The miserable town they 
found was by degrees transformed into a splendid city, 
with magnificent walls and towers, Roman villas, baths, 
temples, and palaces, the military portion lying to the north 
of the river, and the civilian to the south, a glorious city 
that was not inaptly designated Altera Roma. Primitive 
Ebrauc became glorious Eboracum, the British metropolis 
of the Romans. In it resided the emperors, or their 
legates, when staying in the British portion of the vast 
Empire ; here two of them died, Severus and Constantius I., 
and here Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor, 
was proclaimed. 

During the four centuries of the Roman occupation of 
Britain, York played a distinguished part. Early in that 
period its geographic value was discovered, and it became 
the capital town of the north, and probably of the whole 
island. Its foundation as a Roman city has been ascribed 
to Agricola, about the year A.D. 79. Up to that time, 
the imperial headquarters had been at Aldborough, but 
Agricola soon saw the superiority of the neighbouring town 
at the junction of the Ouse and Foss, and, from his time 
to the close of the Roman period in Britain, Eboracum was 
the imperial capital of the province. 

During that period Eboracum was essentially a military 
centre. A camp was formed there for one legion, at first 
the Ninth or Spanish Legion, afterwards the Sixth, which 
was surnamed Victrix. This camp, situated on the north 
side of the river, was, as usual, rectangular in form, and 
enclosed by a ditch and a stone wall. Its length from north 


to south was about 540 yards, its breadth from east to west 
about 480 yards, the area being about a quarter of a million 
square yards. At each corner of the rectangle was a tower, 
one of them, the Multangular Tower, remaining to this day, 
and forming, with portions of the Roman wall on the east 
and north, one of the finest examples in the country of 
Roman fortifications. 

But though Eboracum was a great Roman military 
centre, it would be a mistake to imagine that there was 
no civilian population. In all directions the city appears 
to have spread, and an important suburb arose on the 
south side of the Ouse. Interesting relics of the Roman 
occupation have been discovered in that quarter from 
time to time, showing that costly Roman villas, with 
baths and temples and possibly a Christian church, were 
erected; and, on the site of the present railway station, 
numerous discoveries have been made, indicating the exist- 
ence in that quarter of an important Roman cemetery. 

Of the existence of Christianity in York during the 
Roman occupation there can be no doubt, notwithstanding 
the paucity of the evidences which have been brought to 
light during excavations and in other ways. A Roman 
coffin, evidently containing the remains of a young Christian 
lady, was discovered in the year 1901. Besides a number 
of personal ornaments, which had been buried with her, 
there were also found a glass jug and disc, and these, it 
has been ingeniously suggested, formed the cruet and paten 
of the Viaticum. Though there was no inscription on the 
coffin, inside were the fragments of a bone slip, on which 
was inscribed in incised letters : " AVE . . . o . VIVAS IN 
DEO." The first letter of the second word was probably 
the fourth of the word Soror, and the discovery of this 
relic should be of the greatest value to those who seek 
for evidences of Christianity in Roman Britain. 1 

1 For a detailed account of this discovery, see Annual Report of the 
Yorkshire Philosophical Society for 1901, p. 104, and plate vii. See also the 
preceding chapter, " Roman Yorkshire," p. 49. 


At what date Christianity was first introduced into the 
city is quite unknown, but the earliest bishop, according 
to Archbishop Ussher, was Fagan, who was said to have 
been one of the missionaries sent to Britain by Pope 
Eleutherius in the second century. Theodosius is also 
named by tradition as having been a Bishop of York in 
the same century. His episcopate, however, has been 
seriously questioned ; but certain it is that, at the begin- 
ning of the fourth century there was a Bishop of Eboracum, 
Eborius being one of the three British prelates present at 
the Council of Aries in A.D. 314: " Episcopus de civitate 
Eboracensi provincia Britannia" Other early bishops 
of York mentioned by various writers are St. Sampson, 1 
Pyrannus, and Thadiocus. 

During the Roman period it is quite certain that no 
Christian church would be built in the city on the north 
side of the river. That was the military quarter, and a 
Christian edifice would neither be required nor tolerated 
in the camp, where the soldiers would be all but universally 
non-Christian. Nearly all the domestic " finds " in the city 
have been discovered on the south side of the Ouse, and 
this fact clearly indicates that a large civilian population 
resided there, and in that district doubtless the early 
bishops would have their residence and their church. On 
the high ground lying between the river and Micklegate, 
is a district known as Bishophill, a name which, it has 
reasonably been conjectured, was given to it because, 
probably, it was the district in which the ancient bishops 

In that district are three churches, St. Mary's (Bishophill 
Senior), St. Mary's (Bishophill Junior), and Holy Trinity. 
Ancient churches are they all, the second containing a 
considerable amount of Saxon work, and the third being 
the successor of three other churches formerly occupy- 
ing the same site. Holy Trinity, originally known as 

1 One of the ancient churches of the city is dedicated to this bishop, that 
of St. Sampson in Church Street. 



Christ Church, had jurisdiction over a considerable area 
in the southern suburbs of the city and in the district to 
the west of York, now known as the Ainsty. That it was 
a church of secular canons in pre-Norman times is certain. 
Traditionally it stands on the site of a Roman temple, and 
one of the principal Roman " finds," that of a Roman 
standard-bearer, was unearthed in the Priory precincts 
adjoining. It is not improbable, therefore, that this Christ 
Church, standing as it does right in the heart of the suburb 
where the Roman citizens resided, is the church of the 
early bishops of York, their residence being in the district 
adjoining, known to this day as Bishophill. 

After the departure of the Romans from Britain, the 
history of the north, with York as its chief city, is a 
long series of struggles between the Northumbrians and 
their numerous foes. Harassed on the one hand by the 
Picts and Scots, and on the other by the Saxons whom 
they had called to their aid, the North Britons were in 
a sad condition, and York suffered considerably during 
the conflicts. By the middle of the fifth century the Picts 
and Scots had made themselves masters over the whole 
country north of the Humber, and York was in their 
hands. The Northumbrians, in consequence, sent for the 
Saxons to aid them, and, in a sanguinary conflict near 
the city of York, the Picts and Scots were worsted, and 
York was rescued by the Britons. But encouraged by 
their successes, the Saxons began to form plans for settling 
in the country, and for a long period the history of the 
country consists of the account of numerous and keenly 
contested struggles between the British and the Saxons, 
York being taken and retaken over and over again. But 
the Britons were eventually driven out beyond the mountain 
fastnesses of Wales, and the Saxons became masters of 
the country. 

Of the internecine struggles that took place during 
the period of the Saxon Heptarchy, it is impossible in 
the present paper to speak in detail. They were centuries 


of bloodshed and change and misery for the country in 
general, and not least for that part of it of which York was 
the capital ; and when the scenes of devastation and carnage 
are remembered, it should not be a matter of wonder that so 
little is left in York to remind us of the history of the 
Roman and Saxon periods, but that there are any vestiges 
at all remaining to carry the mind back to those early days 
in the history of the city. 

Several events |Of that period should be noted, because 
of their importance in connection with the subsequent 
history of the city and country. The episcopate of St. 
Sampson, for instance, should not be passed over in silence. 
He it was whom King Aurelius summoned to his great 
Council at York, when he ordered the general restoration 
of Christian churches, and he himself undertook the 
rebuilding, according* to Drake, of " the metropolitical 
church at York." x Sampson, a native of Glamorganshire, 
had become a monk, and had been raised to the headship 
of his monastery, when Aurelius appointed him Bishop of 
York. He did not hold that office long, however, for he 
was driven out of the city by the invaders, and fled to 
Wales, where he became Bishop of St. David's. This see 
he held until his translation to Brittany, when he was 
made the Bishop of Dol. Though in Brittany there are 
numbers of churches, including Dol Cathedral, dedicated 
to his memory, two in Cornwall, one in Dorsetshire, and 
one in Saxony, there is only one in the north of England, 
and that, naturally enough, is in York, where for a time 
he had been bishop. 

The well-known story of Gregory's interview with the 
British slaves in the market-place at Rome should not 
be forgotten by those who are interested in York and the 
vicinity. In the struggles between Deira and Bernicia 
some of the subjects of JE\\a, the King of Deira, whose 
chief city was at York, were captured and sent as slaves 

1 Which church was this? It could not have been York Minster, which 
was not begun till a century and a quarter after this time. 


to Rome. A number of the children were exposed for sale 
in the market-place, at the time when Gregory was a 
young rising ecclesiastic. He was struck with their appear- 
ance, and when, in response to his question as to their 
personality, he was told that they were Angles "Not 
Angles," he replied, " but angels." When, further, he 
was informed that they hailed from Deira "Then," said 
Gregory, "from wrath they shall be snatched De ira 
eruti " ; and on being told the name of their king, ./Ella, 
he still saw good omen in the name, or, at all events, 
he still went on with religious punning, and "Alleluia 
shall be sung there," was his reply. From what particular 
part of the kingdom of Deira these children had been cap- 
tured the story does not relate, but it is more than likely 
that the slave traders had brought them from York. If so, 
and the name of their city transpired, it would effectually 
put an end to even Gregory's punning powers, for Eoferwic 
is not a word that easily lends itself to such a purpose! 
But this episode is interesting to York and the district 
of which it was the centre, inasmuch as it furnishes an 
important link in the chain of events which led to the 
mission of St. Augustine to this country ; and the people 
of Yorkshire should contemplate with satisfaction the fact 
that the notice of some of its captive children brought 
about, not the Christianisation, but the re-Christianisation 
of England. 

The greatest event of the Saxon period was that which 
took place in York thirty years after the landing of St. 
Augustine. King Edwin and his Council had embraced 
Christianity, and, at the Easter Festival in 627, the king 
and some of his chief subjects were baptized by the bishop, 
Paulinus, and on the spot where the sacred rite took place 
a wooden church was erected and dedicated to St. Peter. 
Soon after, the timber structure was replaced by one of 
stone, and by various stages during the centuries that 
followed the building became the magnificent Minster, 
which stands at the present time the joy and boast of 


the city, the county, and the country. Through the period 
of turmoil and bloodshed that attended the incursions of 
the Danes, when the Saxon Eoferic became the Danish 
Yorwik, a continuous succession of bishops and archbishops 
held the see, numbering amongst them such great ecclesi- 
astics as St. Paulinus, St. Chad, St. John of Beverley, 
Egbert, and Albert ; and when the Saxon line was restored 
by the defeat of the Danes in the battle of Stamford 
Bridge, September 25, 1066, Archbishop Aldred was 
Primate of York ; and then came the Norman Conquest, 
which had such important consequences for the church 
and city of York, and the British Ebrauc, the Roman 
Eboracum, the Saxon Eoferic, the Danish Yorwik, was 
thenceforward known as the English York. 1 

During these centuries of war and invasion, very little 
authentic information has come to us respecting the exact 
ecclesiastical condition of York. As we have seen, there 
sprang up in the city two Houses of Canons the Cathedral 
Church of St. Peter, and Christ Church in Micklegate. 
Besides these, two other religious houses were established 
the Hospital of St. Peter in the year A.D. 936, and the 
Monastery of Galmanho about the middle of the eleventh 
century. A remarkable fact concerning these four houses 
is that all of them or their successors still remain, two 
of them in ruins, and the other two still used for divine 
service. Whilst the monasteries, which came into existence 
in later times, have been demolished, some of them not 
leaving a trace behind them, the Minster is yet with us, 
the glory of the city and the diocese ; and the nave of 

1 In spite of much that has been written on the subject, the modern name 
of the city would seem to be the direct, lineal, literal descendant of the old 
British name. Ebrauc became Eboracum ; with the Saxons the first vowel 
became Eo, and the b, frequently interchangeable with f (cf. brother, frater ; 
flos, blossom), became /, and so Eborac was Saxonised to Eoferic ; then the 
Danes adopted Yo inside of Eo, and, the f disappearing, Eoferic became 
Yorwik, and so came the modern appellation. The theory that Eoferic and 
Yorwik were derived from the river Eure or Yore, and wik, is unworthy of 
York's magnificent history. As the city, so its name should be regarded as 
the direct descendant of old Ebrauc of pre-Roman days. 


Holy Trinity, the successor of the yet older Christ Church, 
is still used, an excellent specimen of transitional Norman 
work. The ruins of St. Mary's Abbey on the site of the 
ancient House of Galmanho remain to remind us of its 
glorious past, and portions of the Hospital of St. Leonard, 
the successor of St. Peter's Hospital, stand in close 
proximity to the Benedictine Abbey, whilst parts of the 
Hospital of St. Peter itself may be seen in the basement 
of the Theatre Royal. 

In addition to these religious houses, parish churches 
were erected in various parts of the city, and doubtless 
many of the ancient city churches now standing were built 
on the foundations of pre-Norman structures. One alone 
lays claim to pre-Norman origin, as far as the present 
building is concerned St. Mary's, Bishophill Junior ; but 
serious doubts have been made to this claim, though the 
masonry of the tower and the tower windows seem certainly 
to exhibit pre-Norman features. 

With the advent of William of Normandy a new era 
began for the country and the Church. At the time of 
the Conquest the chief ecclesiastic in the land was Aldred, 
the northern primate. He it was who crowned William 
on December 21, 1066, having previously extracted from 
him the most solemn pledges that he would preserve 
inviolate the rights and liberties of the National Church. 
But within a few years the solemn promises were all 
broken, only three English prelates being suffered to retain 
their sees the northern archbishop and the bishops of 
Rochester and Worcester; and then, after the death of 
Archbishop Aldred, the city of York lay in ashes, its 
Minster with its muniments and its famous library suffer- 
ing in the conflagration, and the city churches being sacked 
and burnt. 

But on the ruins of the ancient city a more magnificent 
one arose during the centuries that followed. The cathedral 
was rebuilt on a more splendid scale, religious houses were 
founded in various parts of the city and suburbs, stately 


mansions were erected, the fortifications of the city were 
strengthened and enlarged, parish churches and chantry 
chapels sprang up in great abundance, and the northern 
capital became a place of which kings and archbishops 
were justifiably proud, a city which played a most prominent 
part in the history of the country. 

To give the merest outline of the detailed history of 
the city of post-Conquest days would be quite impossible 
in these pages, and a few only of the leading features must 
be noticed. The first of these will be the story of a great 
controversy, which arose during the early years of the 
Norman period, and which remained a burning question 
for several centuries the dispute concerning the relative 
positions of the archbishops of York and Canterbury. 
The southern primate claimed jurisdiction over his brother 
in the northern province, a claim which was strenuously 
repudiated by the various archbishops of York. 

At the death of the last Saxon Archbishop of York, 
Thomas of Bayeux was appointed by the Conqueror as 
his successor in the see. The southern archbishopric 
was at that time vacant, and there were not enough 
suffragans in the northern province to perform the cere- 
mony of consecration. Thomas was therefore compelled 
to wait until the Archbishop of Canterbury was appointed. 
When Lanfranc succeeded to that office, the Archbishop- 
elect of York went to him for consecration, and, to his 
surprise, found that the ceremony was refused, unless he 
would first make his profession of obedience to Canterbury. 
This he refused to do, and appealed to the king ; but, in 
spite of the royal command to consecrate unconditionally, 
Lanfranc delayed, defending his action with much adroit- 
ness. As there was only one king, so, argued Lanfranc, 
there should only be one primate ; and he threw out the 
plausible hint that a northern primate might range himself 
on the side of any disloyal foreigners, and set up a rival 
monarch. This argument succeeded, and the king first 
tried to persuade and afterwards commanded Thomas to 


yield. Eventually, but reluctantly, he submitted, professing 
subjection to Lanfranc only, but not to his successors, and 
he then received consecration at the hands of Lanfranc. 

Later on, Thomas brought the matter before Pope 
Alexander. The pontiff favoured the claim of Canter- 
bury, though he cautiously referred the subject for dis- 
cussion in an English synod, and when that synod was 
held Thomas was defeated : the northern archbishops were 
to swear allegiance to Canterbury, and to respond to the 
southern primate's summons to councils. 

The matter was renewed, however, when Anselm suc- 
ceeded to the see of Canterbury. Archbishop Thomas went 
to consecrate Anselm, but when he asked to be consecrated 
as Primate of All England, Thomas refused. He claimed 
exemption from obedience to Canterbury, as he had only 
promised subjection to Lanfranc but not his successors ; 
and so firm was the stand he took that Anselm was eventu- 
ally consecrated as Metropolitan of Canterbury, and not as 
Primate of England. 

The question was again to the fore when Gerard suc- 
ceeded Archbishop Thomas at York. Anselm now de- 
manded Gerard's profession, but Gerard declined to submit ; 
and when Gerard asked Anselm for letters to the Pope to 
aid him in his petition for the pall, Anselm promised on 
the condition only that he would make his profession either 
immediately or on his return from Rome. Evasively Gerard 
replied that he would do what was right when he returned. 
Repeatedly the dispute was renewed between these two 
archbishops, but the question remained as far from settle- 
ment as ever. And so the matter went on during the 
episcopates of succeeding archbishops, each archbishop 
forbidding the other to carry his cross erect in the other's 
province, the northern archbishop insisting upon equality 
of jurisdiction, the southern archbishop claiming the 
primacy of the whole country, first one appearing to gain 
the advantage and then the other, the dispute being some- 
times attended with humiliating episodes, until the time of 


Archbishop Thoresby of York, when the burning question 
was finally and amicably settled. This settlement was 
effected at a meeting of the two primates in Westminster 
Palace on April 20, 1352, when it was decided 

(1) That each archbishop was to be allowed to carry 

his cross erect in the other's province. 

(2) That each Archbishop of York, within two months 

after his election, was to send a knight, or a 
doctor of laws, to offer in his name, at the 
shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury, an image 
of gold of the value of 40, in the form of an 
archbishop holding a cross, or some other orna- 

(3) That in Parliament and at councils the southern 

archbishop was to sit at the king's right hand 
with cross erect, the northern primate being on 
the left. 

(4) That in an open street the two archiepiscopal cross- 

bearers were to walk abreast, but in a gateway, 
or narrow passage, the cross of Canterbury was 
to have precedence ; and 

(5) That the Archbishop of York was to be styled 

Primate of England, and the Archbishop of 
Canterbury Primate of All England. 

And so ended the controversy which, for centuries, had 
been the prolific source of angry dispute and painful re- 
crimination. It was a happy termination of a bitter struggle 
for supremacy, and it seems to have been the only kind of 
solution possible at the time. But it was a virtual defeat 
for the northern primate, who throughout the dispute had 
never sought for supremacy, but only for equality. 

During the centuries that this dispute was being carried 
on, it must not be imagined that ecclesiastical matters in 
the city were at a standstill. The great cathedral was 
being gradually evolved, and through rebuildings, renova- 
tions, and additions, during many episcopates, it eventually 


attained to the condition of wondrous perfection which it 
possessed toward the end of the fifteenth century. Early 
in the Norman period Archbishop Thomas I. set about the 
renovation of the Minster, which, during the general con- 
flagration of the Conqueror's time, had suffered terribly. 
In Archbishop Walter Gray's day (1215-1255), the south 
transept was built, and to this day it remains unsurpassed 
as an example of Early English architecture in the perfec- 
tion of the style. The chapter-house followed (1280-1340), 
and toward the end of the thirteenth century, Archbishop 
Romanus began the present nave, as his father before him, 
who was the Treasurer of York, had built the north transept 
(1250-1270). For some years the erection of the nave went 
on, being completed by Archbishop Melton (1317-1340), 
with its magnificent decorated west window, which has 
been described as the finest Gothic window in the world. 
A little later the Lady Chapel was built, during the episco- 
pate of Archbishop Thoresby (1352-1373), and then the 
old Transitional choir gave place to the present one. Half 
a century later (1433-1450) the south-western tower was 
erected in the days of Archbishop Kempe, and during the 
same episcopate the north-western tower was begun, being 
finished during the days of his successor. The great central 
tower followed about 1460-1472, and then came the last 
item of pre- Reformation work, the erection of the rood 
screen, now used as the organ screen, in 1476-1518. Since 
those days nothing further has been done in the shape of 
building beyond ordinary repairs and ornamentation, and 
the rebuildings after the disastrous fires of 1829 and 1840. 

The plan of the Minster as it exists at present is 
cruciform, its west front flanked by towers, the great 
lantern rising in all its grandeur at the crossing, the 
choir having eastern transepts, and the glorious octagonal 
chapter-house lying *o the north of the choir. Some con- 
ception of the massiveness of the building may be gathered 
when it is stated that its extreme external length is 524! ft., 
and that the external measurement at the transepts is 



249 ft. The height of the central tower is 216 ft., and 
that of the western towers 202 ft. The height of the nave 
is 99! ft., of the transepts 99 ft., and of the choir 102 ft., 
while the chapter-house is 63 ft. in diameter and 67 ft. high. 

A glorious composition is the west front, having been 
deservedly described as more architecturally perfect than 
that of any other English cathedral, notwithstanding 
Ruskin's criticism of the flanking towers as " confectioners' 
gothic." The great west doorway is exceedingly fine, the 
details of its mouldings being well worth careful study. 
The majority of the sculptures formerly adorning the 
numerous niches are gone, but in the pediment is still to 
be seen the figure of Archbishop William de Melton holding 
the model of a church, an appropriate historical reminder 
that it was he who completed this part of the building. 

The Early English front of the south transept is also 
a splendid specimen of that period of architecture, and as 
it is viewed from the south end of Stonegate, the beauty 
of this style of building is realised, with its lancets, its 
tiers of arcading, its ornaments, and the magnificent wheel 
window, measuring about 27 ft. in diameter. From this 
point of view the massiveness of the whole structure 
from east to west can be realised ; an unrivalled specimen 
of an English cathedral evolved during the passage of 
many centuries. 

Internally the Minster defies adequate verbal descrip- 
tion, and only a few of the leading details can be noticed. 
Standing under the great Lantern Tower and looking west, 
the beautiful west window is one of the first things that 
rivet the attention. It belongs to the decorated period, but 
has more than a soupgon of the flamboyant style in its tracery. 
It consists of eight lights, with exquisite tracery above, 
measuring 54 ft. in height, a little over 25 ft. in breadth, 
and contains 958 superficial feet of stained glass. This 
glass was the gift of Archbishop Melton, the subjects 
consisting of three tiers of figures. The lowest tier rep- 
resents eight of the holders of the archiepiscopal see ; 


the middle one depicts eight saints, among whom are 
St. Peter, St. Paul, St. James, and St. Katherine; the 
upper series are pictures of smaller figures in groups. 

Turning round we get a view of the great east window, 
one of the marvels of the cathedral, wondrous not only 
for its size and its beauty, but also of great interest 
because of its origin. The stone work belongs to the 
rectilinear period, the stained glass to the opening years 
of the fifteenth century. John Thornton of Coventry was 
the glazier, who, on December 10, 1405, entered into a 
covenant with the dean and chapter to portray the 
said window with his own hand, including the " histories, 
images, and other things to be painted." He was also 
to paint the same, to provide glass, lead, and workmen, 
at the expense of the chapter, and he himself was to 
receive from the dean and chapter for every week wherein 
he worked in his art during the three years, four shillings, 
and each year of the same three years five pounds sterling, 
and after the work was completed ten pounds for his re- 
ward. Thornton evidently finished the undertaking in 
the specified time, for at the head of the tracery appear 
his initials with the date " I. T. 1408." The glass remains 
after all these years practically the same as it left his 
hands, the largest and one of the most beautiful windows 
in the world. The subjects have been frequently described 
and need not be repeated here. In brief, and in general, 
the upper portion represents scenes taken from the book 
of Genesis, the lower, scenes from the Apocalypse. 

Looking north from under the lantern is to be seen 
the famous "Five Sisters' Window" at the end of the 
north transept. It consists of five lancets, 54 ft. in height, 
above which is a smaller tier diminishing in height on 
each side from the centre. The lancets are divided by 
groups of detached shafts with a passage behind them, the 
shafts with their bands, bases, and capitals being Early 
English, while the lancets contain in great part the original 
Early English stained glass. This window is not only one 


of the finest in the Minster but in the world, and no one 
who has seen and studied it will be surprised at the story 
of the famous general who, when asked to mention what 
in all his travels had most impressed him, exclaimed, " The 
Five Sisters of York Minster." 

It is obviously impossible even to attempt to describe 
in these pages the three-quarters of an acre of stained 
glass, which, it has been computed, the Minster contains, 
most of it of great beauty, and some of surpassing loveli- 
ness. The St. William's window in the north choir tran- 
sept contains, in addition to the glass of the tracery, 105 
compartments, depicting the various scenes in the life of 
York's saint ; whilst that in the opposite south choir tran- 
sept contains eighty-five panels representing episodes in the 
history of St. Cuthbert. In all parts of the sacred edifice 
are the most delightful examples of the glassmaker's art, 
in nave, transepts, choir, and chapter-house. Aisle and 
clerestory, expansive window and narrow lancet, rose and 
vesica, all furnish precious specimens of the most harmonious 
blending of rich colouring, and nowhere can the lover of 
mediaeval glass find a richer field for the study of his art 
than here. 

The nave, transepts, and choir are all double-aisled, 
and all of the style of the period in which they were 
built, a triforium and clerestory running round the whole 
of the edifice. The nave consists of eight bays, the choir 
of nine, and each transept of four. The transepts are 
unrivalled specimens of Early English work, the nave 
is Decorated, the tower and choir Perpendicular. Under 
the choir, which is separated from the nave by a stone 
screen, is the crypt, the oldest portion of the Minster, 
containing a considerable amount of Norman masonry, 
while the octagonal chapter-house belongs to the Decorated 
period, as also does the vestibule leading to it, though 
some portions of the walls are of the Perpendicular style. 
Leading out from the south choir-aisle are the Chapel of 
Archbishop Zouche, the vicar's vestry, and the treasury, 


or, as it is sometimes called, the consistory, all of Per- 
pendicular date; and abutting on the south transept, in 
the angle between its western wall and that of the nave, 
is the archiepiscopal registry. 

In the vestry are treasured numerous relics connected 
with the history of the Minster. One of the most interest- 
ing is the celebrated Horn of Ulphus, which was given to 
the cathedral by the Danish prince in 1036, as a guarantee 
of the donation of a number of his lands. To keep his 
sons, it is said, from quarrelling with each other over their 
respective shares, he took the horn, filled with wine, to the 
altar of the cathedral church and there dedicated to God 
and St. Peter his various demesnes, offering the horn as 
the pledge of his gift, and 

" Holy Church was warden of his land 
To guard and fend it from unhallowed hand." 

The relic bears the inscription recording the story of Ulf's 
donation. " Cornu hoc Ulphus in occidentali parte Deirae 
princeps una cum omnibus terris et redditibus suis olim 
donavit. Amissum vel abreptum Henricus Dom. Fairfax 
demum restituit. Dec. et Capit. de novo ornavit A.D. 

Another of the treasures here stored is the Indulgence 
Cup or Mazer of Archbishop Scrope. It is of dark brown 
wood, and is decorated with a band of silver round the 
upper rim, along which is incised an inscription of the 
greatest interest to all who are acquainted with the tragic 
end of the Primate in 1405 : ">fi ftectyarDe arctje betftljOpe 

fcrope grantte on to all ttjo tljat Drinfete of tfjig -cope 
rl** Daiusf to paroun Hobart <S^b0un 316e$c|)0pe mogtn 
grantte in game forme afore saiue rl^ Dapis to paroun, 

1 " Beschope mosin" was Richard Messing, a Carmelite, titular Bishop of 
Dromore, and Suffragan to the Archbishop of York. He died at York, 
where he was buried. Other mazer bowls with indulgences attached to 
them are occasionally mentioned. On January 25, 1393-94, Martin Elys, 
minor canon of St. Paul's, London, bequeathed to his brethren the minor 


The history of the fabric having been given in outline 
and the Minster briefly described as to-day it exists, a 
short account must now be added of the constitution of 
the cathedral body. Before the Conquest it consisted of 
seven canons with an abbas as their head; but in the 
days of the first Norman archbishop, Thomas of Bayeux 
(1070-1 100), a remodelling of the constitution was effected. 
A dean was made the head, three other major dignitaries 
were appointed a chancellor, a treasurer, and a precentor 
and a number of prebends were created. In the thirteenth 
century the chapter consisted of forty-six members, whilst 
at the Reformation the number of canons was thirty-four. 
At that time two of the prebends, Bramham and Salton, 
fell into the hands of the king, and two others, Bishop 
Wilton and Masham, were suppressed, leaving thirty 
canonries, which exist at the present time. 

The cathedral body now consists of the archbishop, 
who is not a member of the chapter, though "major in 
ecclesia," the dean, precentor, chancellor, sub-dean, suc- 
centor of the canons, thirty canons, together with the 
vicars' succentor, and his four fellow vicars - choral. 
From the prebendaries four are chosen by the archbishop 
as residentiaries, who in turn occupy the house in the 
cathedral close called the " Residence." In the same close, 
opposite the chapter - house, is the Deanery, and just 
outside the close is the Treasurer's House, a fine old 
mansion, which in recent years has been restored. 

Connected with the Minster in mediaeval times were 
several collegiate bodies: (i) there was the college of 
vicars - choral, thirty - six in number, presided over by 
their custos, who was the vicars' succentor. They had 

canons in their common hall a " mazer with silver cover called Pardon- 
cuppe" (Calendar of Wills, Court of Hush 'tig , ii. 305). Another is men- 
tioned in the will (1506-7) of Robert Plumpton of York (Test. Ebor. t iv. 
259). Robert Gybsun and Robert Strensall were, no doubt, the notaries 
who attested the grants of Archbishop Scrope and his suffragan respectively. 
A mazer was one of the necessaries for a novice in a religious house (Notes 
and Queries, 5th Ser., vii. p. 384). For a full account of the Scrope mazer 
see Archaologia, vol. 50. 


their residence in the Bedern, were a corporate body, 
held lands, advowsons, and other properties, and were re- 
sponsible, as their name implies, for the musical portions 
of the Minster services. Nothing remains of their resi- 
dence but a part of the refectory, their chapel also being 
left, and the gateway leading to the Bedern. (2) The 
chantry priests formed a body corporate at St. William's 
College, which, after some centuries of change and decay, 
is now being restored for church use. Their head was 
called the provost, and from time to time their numbers 
varied according to the number of chantries existing in 
the cathedral at the altars of which they served, assisting 
also in other ways in connection with the various religious 
services and functions at the cathedral. (3) The Collegiate 
Chapel of St. Mary and the Holy Angels, otherwise known 
as " Sepulchres Chapel," originally consisted of twelve 
prebendaries, over whom was a head called the sacrist. 
Later on the number of prebendaries was increased to 
4 eighteen. The chapel, which was founded by Archbishop 
Roger, abutted on the Minster, with which it was connected 
by a doorway in the second bay of the north aisle. This 
doorway, though built up, may still be seen. The chapel 
stretched across the present close in the direction of the 
Residence. (4) The College of the Hundred Priests was 
founded by King Richard III. It was begun but never 
completed, the scheme coming to an end owing to the 
death of the royal founder, who perished at Bosworth. 

In early times the Cathedral of York was noted for its 
library, which was the envy of all Europe, and became 
the model on which the celebrated library of Tours 
was fashioned. The precious " flowers of Britain," as 
Alcuin called the volumes at York, perished, however, at 
the great Conquest conflagration. But during the cen- 
turies that have passed since then, a new library has 
sprung up, which in our own day is placed in the old chapel 
of the archiepiscopal palace, formerly existing across the 
Minster Close, a small portion of an arcading of the palace 


still remaining. The library contains a large collection of 
valuable volumes, manuscripts, old office-books, seals, and 
curiosities ; whilst in the archbishop's registry are the 
unbroken records of the various occupants of the see 
from the time of Archbishop Walter Gray. In the Probate 
Registry are copies of testamentary documents in countless 
numbers, dating from the fourteenth century, and in the 
Chapter Clerk's Office are the valuable volumes known as 
Torre's manuscript. 

In spite of fire, change, war, and vicissitudes of all 
kinds, the Minster still stands, with its precious posses- 
sions, the most beautiful and massive of English cathedrals. 
It may have been shorn of some of its mediaeval glamour 
and splendour, many of its niches are without the figures 
that once filled them, much of its former ornamentation 
may be missing, and its famous shrine of St. William be 
a thing of the past ; but for dignity, massiveness, grandeur, 
it stands, taken as a whole, unrivalled, and still remains 
what for centuries it has been the pride and glory of 
the great shire of broad acres. 

While all this work was going on at the Minster, great 
ecclesiastical activity was being manifested in all parts of the 
city and its suburbs. Old churches were rebuilt and new 
ones erected until, in the reign of Henry V., no less than 
forty-one parish churches are named in the list of those 
which were taxed under that monarch for carrying on 
the war with France. As early as the year 1137, an 
old chronicler tells of forty churches, besides the Minster, 
having suffered in a great fire. How many of these had 
been rebuilt by the time of Henry. V. records do not show ; 
and it is a remarkable fact that the dates of so few of the 
existing churches in York can be fixed by documentary 
evidence. But there is little doubt that most of the 
city's ancient churches have been built on older founda- 
tions, and it were futile to hazard any guess as to which 
should have the premier position as far as the dates are 



Most of the parish churches exhibit varieties of archi- 
tectural style, but it is only by the study of their architecture 
that the dates of the buildings and their various parts can 
be approximately fixed. As has been already stated, the 
only one that lays claim to pre-Norman masonry is the 
church of St. Mary, Bishophill the Younger. Generally 
speaking, the different periods of architecture may be 
indicated as follows: 

Norman. (i) The tower of old St. Lawrence; (2) the 
porch of St. Denys ; (3) the porch of St. Margaret's ; 
(4) windows (inserted), portions of central piers, and west 
tower, Holy Trinity, Micklegate. 

Transitional. (i) Nave arcade and piers at Holy 
Trinity, Micklegate ; (2) nave arcade and piers at St. 
Michael's, Spurriergate ; (3) south doorway at St. Mary's, 
Bishophill Senior. 

Early English. (i) All Saints, North Street, south 
doorway and piers ; (2) Holy Trinity, Micklegate, north 
doorway and west front with tower lancets ; (3) St. Helen's, 
Stonegate, east windows in aisles. 

Decorated. (i) St. Helen's, Stonegate; (2) St. Samp- 
son's; (3) All Saints, North Street; (4) St. Denys; (5) 
Christ Church, King's Court. 

Perpendicular. (i) St. Martin's, Coney Street; (2) All 
Saints, Pavement ; (3) St. Crux (destroyed] ; (4) St. Michael- 
le-Belfrey; (5) St. Olave's ; (6) St. Sampson's; (7) St. 
Saviour's; (8) St. Cuthbert's; (9) St. Denys; (10) St. 
Helen's, Stonegate; (n) Holy Trinity, Goodramgate ; (12) 
Christ Church, King's Court; (13) St. John's; (14) St. 
Mary's, Castlegate (spire). 

From this list it will be seen that the student of English 
architecture has a rich field before him in connection with 
the city churches. Every period is represented, in some 
cases a single church affording illustrations of nearly all 
the styles. Rich, however, though the city is in the pos- 
session of its ancient buildings, many of its sacred edifices 
have been lost. In the first year of Edward VI. an Act 


was passed declaring many of the churches superfluous, 
and authorising their demolition, the parishes so deprived 
being united to some neighbouring parish. In consequence, 
some of the buildings were destroyed forthwith, though 
the enactment was not fully carried out until the year 
1585, when the archbishop, represented by his ordinary, 
the Lord Mayor, and six aldermen met, under the statute, 
and resolved that the number of parishes should be reduced 
to twenty-three. Seventeen parishes were therefore amal- 
gamated with others, and their churches demolished. In the 
most ruthless fashion this destructive measure was carried 
out, and sixteen out of the seventeen churches were rased 
to the ground, leaving not a trace behind them. The one 
allowed to remain was the Church of St. Andrew which was 
united to St. Saviour's. It still stands, but it is in a sad 
condition, being at the present time used as a storage for 
furniture, its chancel having been converted into a cottage. 

But though so much has been lost to the city, it is 
still rich in the possession of many of those Houses of God 
which adorned the northern capital in mediaeval days, most 
of them having been built or rebuilt during the period from 
the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, concurrently with the 
gradual evolution of the great Minster, and during the 
centuries when the acrimonious dispute between the two 
English archbishops was seeking for settlement. 

But whilst York in mediaeval days was essentially a 
city of churches, with its unrivalled cathedral church as 
the centre and inspiration of them all, it is equally true 
that it became the home of northern monasticism. The 
capital town of the great county which could boast of such 
an array of religious houses as no other county possessed, 
it drew to its fortified enclosures a vast number of monks 
and friars, until eventually representatives of nearly every 
monastic order which obtained a footing in the country 
found a home in the city or its suburbs. 

Prior to the Conquest, as we have seen, four religious 
houses had existed in the city. No sooner were the 


turbulent days of the Conquest over, than monasticism 
received a great impetus in the north, encouraged and 
patronised by prelates, monarchs, and noblemen. The 
Benedictines led the way, the magnificent Abbey of St. Mary 
being founded on the site of the old pre-Conquest house 
of Galmanho in 1087. Two years later, Holy Trinity 
Priory was re-established on the site of the old canon's 
house in Micklegate, being converted into an alien priory 
under the great Abbey of Marmoutier near Tours. Shortly 
after this, Fishergate Priory was founded as a cell of 
Whitby Abbey, and about the year 1130, a House of Bene- 
dictine Nuns was established at Clemen thorpe, a hamlet 
lying just outside the southern walls of the city. During 
the reign of Stephen, two great hospitals came into being 
that of St. Leonard, on the site and in the place of the 
pre-Conquest hospital of St. Peter, and that of St. Nicholas, 
a hospital for lepers, outside Walmgate Bar. Before the 
year 1161, an important collegiate establishment was 
founded in connection with the Minster by Archbishop 
Roger, and about the same time, certainly before 1179, 
the chantry chapel of St. James on the Mount was estab- 
lished as an appendage of Holy Trinity Priory. In 1202 
the representatives of the Order of St. Gilbert of Sempring- 
ham found a home in the Priory of St. Andrew in Fisher- 
gate, and a little later, ante 1228, the Dominican priory 
on Toft Green was erected. About the same time, 1232, 
the military orders commenced their work at York, a 
chapel of the Knights Templars being built near the 
castle. Before 1252 another collegiate house arose, the 
Bedern College, which was the home of the thirty-six 
vicars-choral of York Minster, who received their charter 
of incorporation in the year 1421. The Carmelites fol- 
lowed, a little before 1255, their home being founded in 
the district now known as Hungate, on the right bank 
of the Foss ; and almost concurrently, ante 1 268, the 
Franciscan priory was established on the left bank of the 
Ouse, just below Ouse Bridge. The Friars of the Sac 


came to the city, ante 1274, but the site of their dwelling 
is quite unknown; and about the same time, ante 1278, 
the Austin Friars began their career on the left bank of 
the river, just below Lendal Bridge. The Crutched Friars 
were the last of the mendicant orders to attempt a settle- 
ment in the cit}', circa 1310, their temporary residence 
being somewhere in the neighbourhood of Monk Bar. In 
1371 Trinity Hospital was founded in Fossgate ; ante 1391 
St. Thomas's Hospital near Micklegate Bar arose ; before 
1435 St. Anthony's Hospital sprang into existence ; and 
in 1453 St. William's College was founded for the Minster 
chantry priests. And, during all these years and those 
which followed, through the liberality of various individuals, 
a great number of smaller hospitals, Maisons Dieu, chantry 
and free chapels, and hermitages were established, until 
eventually no less than sixty-nine religious houses were 
known to have been founded in various parts of the city 
and its vicinity. 

With such a magnificent collection of religious houses, 
together with its forty-one parochial churches, and the 
great cathedral overshadowing them all, York in the 
Middle Ages must indeed have been regarded as a great 
ecclesiastical centre, and there can be no wonder that it 
was a city of which its primates were proud and in which 
kings and queens were pleased occasionally to dwell. 

A great proportion of this article has been devoted to 
the ecclesiasticism of York, and from what has been said 
it is quite evident that from such an aspect the northern 
capital must ever be viewed in any attempt at furnishing 
an account of the historic city. But such a review would 
be very inadequate if other aspects were neglected. It 
can never be forgotten that Eboracum, in its inception, was 
not ecclesiastical but military. When the Romans made 
it their headquarters in Britain, religious matters did not, 
of course, enter into their calculations. It was its strategic 
importance that occurred to them, and through the whole 
period of the Roman occupation the military value of the 


city was its chief distinction. Its civil and ecclesiastical 
importance came afterwards. And, as has already been 
pointed out, during the centuries that followed, when the 
Normans had left Britain, York played a prominent part 
in the military struggles of Saxon and Danish times. Nor 
was this aspect lost sight of in the days that followed the 
Norman Conquest. During the conflicts with Scotland, 
in the Wars of the Roses, in the great Civil War of the 
seventeenth century, and in the disturbances connected 
with the Jacobite Rebellion, York was always regarded as 
an important centre, and terrible scenes of carnage have 
been witnessed in and around the old city. Naturally, 
therefore, during a long period covering eighteen or nine- 
teen centuries, great attention has been paid to the defences 
of the city. Happily those old fortifications are no longer 
needed for their original purpose, but they remain with us 
to-day in pretty much the same condition as our Planta- 
genet predecessors left them, reminding the citizens of 
siege and battle, of assault and defence, connected with 
some of the most thrilling episodes in the history of the 

The story of these defensive works has been elaborately 
told in a recent publication written by one of the citizens 
of York, 1 and it would be quite out of place in these pages 
to attempt even the briefest summary of what has been so 
admirably said in that work. York has, indeed, lost many 
of its old treasures, through carelessness, vandalism, and 
natural decay, but its citizens, as indeed all Englishmen, 
have cause for unbounded gratitude that, in spite of open 
and insidious attempts at demolition, its ancient means of 
defence have been spared to them ; and it should be regarded 
by them as a responsibility and privilege to hand them on, 
in ah equally good state of preservation, to those who shall 
come after. 

The four great Bars Micklegate, Bootham, M onk, and 

1 York: the Sttry of its Walls and Castles. By T. P. Cooper (1904). 


Walmgate are priceless treasures such as no other Eng- 
lish town can boast; one of them, the last mentioned, 
retaining its mediaeval barbican. The walls, with one 
slight break, still encircle the city, with their towers, 
turrets, posterns, chambers, and promenade. Of the old 
moat one splendid stretch still remains, near Lord Mayor's 
Walk. Considerable portions of the historic castle are 
yet standing, crowned by the hoary Clifford's Tower, the 
scene of the grim tragedy connected with the massacre 
of the Jews in Richard the First's day; and the hillock 
on which formerly stood the second castle, that of Baile 
Hill, is carefully preserved and ornamented with trees and 
shrubs. The Multangular Tower and portions of the old 
Roman Wall are also left, carrying the mind back to the 
days of sixteen centuries ago. And altogether, despite 
the ravages of time and the hand of the despoiler, the city 
is the proud possessor of the finest examples of mediaeval 
and Roman fortifications remaining in the country. 

It would have been strange if a city possessing so 
many advantages ecclesiastical, historic, military, defen- 
sive had not become a favourite place of residence during 
the Middle Ages. Many of the sovereigns had their tem- 
porary dwellings in the city, sometimes holding high festival 
there ; Parliaments from time to time assembled within its 
walls ; gorgeous ecclesiastical pageants were celebrated in 
the Minster, the monastic churches, and in connection with 
the various city guilds. Then there were ample means of 
protection during the stormy days of war. The city was 
a home of learning and piety. Great prelates and scholars 
had their homes in it; and naturally, in various parts of 
the city, capacious mansions sprang up where the gentry 
and nobility resided. The Percy family had their palace 
in the Walmgate district, and some of them were buried 
in the neighbouring churches ; the archbishop's palace 
was erected near the Minster, a small fragment and the 
old chapel still remaining; and in the city and suburbs 
were established stately dwellings of those of the nobility 



who, though their usual abode was elsewhere, kept also 
their city house. 

A wonderful place indeed must the city have been in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with its Minster and 

its churches, its monasteries 
and guilds, its palaces and 
mansions, its castles and its 
walls, its ecclesiastics and mili- 
tary. The glory of ancient 
Eboracum had indeed passed 
away, but a city equally 
beautiful, though beautiful in a 
different way, had sprung up 
on the site, and it is beyond 
the power of a twentieth- 
century citizen to realise the 
magnificence on which his 
forefathers were accustomed to 

With the great religious 
upheaval of the sixteenth cen- 
tury a tremendous change 
came over the city. The fine 
monastic buildings were dis- 
mantled and their inmates 
scattered ; numbers of paro- 
chial churches were deemed 
superfluous and were demo- 
lished ; those that were spared 
were in many cases stripped 
of all internal beauty, and 

handed over to the annual beautifier. And with these 
drastic changes came others. Commercialism and utili- 
tarianism began to make themselves felt, and fine houses, 
quaint streets, and historic buildings had to give place 
to others less beautiful, though more profitable. Many 
of the mediaeval houses of York have disappeared within 



living memory, with their beautiful carved wooden door- 
ways. Some illustrations, published about sixty years ago, 
of certain of these are reproduced in these pages. All of 
them are things of the past. The last to go disappeared 
in 1906 to make an opening for a new road. The marvel 
is, not that so little of mediaeval York is left, but that there 
are any remnants at all to remind the inhabitants of their 
city's glorious past. 

Bygone York has had wonderful possibilities. It once 
possessed, as we have seen, such a library as was the 
envy of all Europe, and the leading scholar of the day, 
one of its own sons, Alcuin, was called away from the 
city by Charlemagne to become the great educational 
light of the continent. Why, with all its advantages, the 
city did not become a great educational, as well as a 
great ecclesiastical centre, with its schools, its colleges, 
and university, is a mystery. What the future may have 
in store none can tell. Though robbed of much of its 
mediaeval splendour, it still remains a city in many respects 
without a rival. It retains its Minster, its fortifications, 
many of its ancient churches, its quaint streets and 
gables. The King's Manor House, St. Anthony's Hospital, 
and Trinity Hall are yet in existence. Some of its churches 
have been renovated and made more worthy of their past 
history. Fine old houses, that seemed almost past re- 
demption, are being restored to their former beauty. St. 
William's College is just undergoing a worthy reparation, 
and is to be the future home of the Northern Convocation. 
On the whole, the day of the despoiler seems to be drawing 
to its close, and the northern capital may again become, 
under wise rulers, the centre of light and learning, a 
worthy successor of that city of which Alcuin wrote : 

' ' Hanc Romana manus muris et turribus altam 
Fundavit prime, comites sociosque laborum 
Indigenas tantum gentes adhibendo Britannas. 
Ut foret emporium terrae commune marisque ; 
Et fieret ducibus secura potentia regni 
Et decus Imperii, terrorque hostilibus armis." 



HORACE WALPOLE, on one of his visits to Went- 
worth Castle, discovered that Yorkshire afforded 
remarkable "quarries for working in Gothic." He 
said this in transport at the sight of a ruined abbey ; and it 
is possible that, beside these more splendid memorials of the 
past, the parish churches, in which he and his friends paid 
a polite attention on Sundays 'to the forms of religious 
worship sanctioned by the State, interested him but little. 
The church furniture of the eighteenth century, with all 
its individual virtues of workmanship, effectually concealed 
the history of the fabrics which it occupied, and the 
traces of that element of romance, so dear to Walpole's 
heart, which he found in deserted and roofless abbey 
churches. The movement which he helped to inaugurate, 
with its neat edifices in the Gothic taste, its shallow 
imitations of Gothic detail, and its disregard of mediaeval 
principles of planning, was far more actively destructive 
than the established taste of his own age; and the series 
of indiscriminate restorations, intelligent and otherwise, 
which followed the revival of scholarly interest in Gothic 
art, cannot be said to have brought back to our churches 
the grace and beauty of mediaeval design and ornament, 
although it has given us the opportunity of appreciating 
the extent of our loss. But, in spite of these changes 
which the revolution of time has brought about, the parish 
churches of Yorkshire are still a most valuable "quarry 
for working in Gothic." Less attractive, as a whole, than 



the churches of Lincolnshire or Northamptonshire, East 
Anglia or Somerset, they provide a greater variety of 
material for working out the evolution of the mediaeval 
church plan than any of those districts. In one respect, 
in the possession of Norman remains and in the number 
of churches which retain their Norman plan unaltered 
or with very slight modification, Yorkshire is almost 
without a rival among English counties. And although, in 
later years, no exclusively local type of church archi- 
tecture was developed in the county as a whole; although 
its fashions in building, as is natural in so wide an area, 
diversified by so many varieties of geological formation, 
rather assimilated themselves to the fashions of neigh- 
bouring districts than to one central type nevertheless, 
very few parts of the county are without their own 
interesting peculiarities of plan and detail. In addition 
to this, Yorkshire contains a series of churches which 
afford complete examples, with hardly any admixture of 
the work of other periods, of the development of medi- 
aeval architecture through its various stages, and thus 
form invaluable landmarks to the student of this branch 
of history. 

With regard to the geographical distribution of the 
churches, it is natural that those parts of the county 
which are least touched by modern commerce should 
furnish us with the largest percentage of old buildings. 
The East Riding, thickly studded with agricultural villages, 
is in this respect the richest district, and no part is without 
its interest. The North Riding, although it contains no 
rivals of the splendid churches which, in all the ripe 
beauty of Gothic art at its highest stage of development, 
are the cynosure of the low-lying plains and straggling 
little towns of Howdenshire and Holderness, is in interest 
little behind the East Riding. Its great manufacturing 
town, Middlesbrough, has been an intruder rather than a 
destroyer. But before the development of the iron in- 
dustry the churches of Cleveland had undergone drastic 


alteration. The eighteenth-century builders of that dis- 
trict have left handsome examples of their work in the 
churches of Kirkleatham and Yarm. At Yarm, however, 
enough of the mediaeval building remains to indicate the 
extent of the transformation ; but the smaller churches 
which lie between the Tees and the northern fringe of 
the moors, round Stokesley and Guisbrough, have suffered 
changes for which no excuse can be found on the ground 
of beauty. The walls of small Norman churches were 
pared down, faced with uniform blocks of ashlar, and 
pierced with window-openings of the plainest domestic 
type. The interior of the church derived, it is true, the 
advantage of additional light, but all traces of its antiquity 
were obscured in the endeavour to secure the effect of a 
plain, bright rectangle, filled with high pews, and crowned 
by a flat plaster ceiling. At Thornaby the chancel was 
taken down ; at Liverton, above Loftus, the magnificent 
chancel-arch was carefully plastered up. Towards the 
turn of the century the taste for picturesqueness in archi- 
tecture continued the destructive work on somewhat dif- 
ferent lines. The little Norman church of Wilton, for 
example, was adapted in a pseudo-Swiss taste to suit 
its pretty background of rock and wooded hill. In spite 
of this, the Cleveland churches have more to show than 
their general appearance promises. The rage for trans- 
formation extended into Allertonshire, towards the south- 
west ; but, in the neighbourhood of Northallerton, its traces 
begin to be less evident, although, not many years ago, 
they were to be seen in the parish church of North- 
allerton before its handsome restoration. 1 The broken 
country at the foot of the moors behind Northallerton 
and Thirsk introduces us to a district of the greatest 
interest. Nineteenth-century rebuilding, which is very 
conspicuous in the flatter part of the Vale of York, has 

1 The old chancel had been replaced by a mean and inadequate projection 
without beauty, while nave and aisles had been combined beneath one barn- 
like roof. 


extended to some of the little churches in this hill dis- 
trict ; * but, as we round the south-west corner of the 
Hambleton Hills, no church is without some feature that 
is worth examination. The features of this district reach 
their climax in the neighbourhood of Helmsley, Pickering, 
and Malton. Malton, within easy reach, on the one hand, 
of the moors, and, on the other, of the East Riding wolds, 
is the best centre in Yorkshire for the study of these 
churches of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in many 
of which the simple aisleless plan remains almost intact. 
West of Malton, the wapentake of Bulmer, and its remote 
northern portion, the forest of Galtres, contains a number 
of curious buildings, among which the church of Sheriff 
Hutton is the chief. 

York itself is excluded from our survey; but the little 
churches of the Ainsty are an attractive group, and the 
churches of Skelton, Nun Monkton, and Kirk Hammerton, 
north and north-west of the city, are of the greatest archi- 
tectural importance. The line of the Roman road from the 
Ouse to the Tees crosses the Ure at Boroughbridge into the 
western districts of the North Riding ; and here, at the foot 
of Wensleydale, Swaledale, and Teesdale, are a series of 
beautiful churches, which, in their size and their richness of 
Gothic detail, offer a striking contrast to the small Norman 
fabrics which fringe the moors on the opposite side of the 
Riding. Higher up the dales, the large parish churches of 
Grinton and Wensley call for special notice ; and Wensley 
and the rebuilt church of the enormous parish of Aysgarth 
contain woodwork which, though not originally their own, is 
the finest work of the kind left in Yorkshire. But the little 
parochial chapels of these wild and thinly inhabited valleys, 
where they have not been rebuilt, as at Hardraw, are feature- 
less buildings whose chief attraction, like that of the village 
churches of North and Central Wales, is their rudeness and 
quaintness. The even wilder hill-country of the West 

1 e.g. Cowesby and Kirby Knowle. 


Riding, south and west of Aysgarth and Hawes, shares 
the characteristics of the churches of Swaledale and Wens- 
leydale. The large parish churches of Burnsall, Kirkby 
Malham, and Bolton by Bowland, the last on the edge of 
Lancashire, are to Wharfedale, Airedale, and Ribblesdale 
what Wensley is to Wensleydale, and Grinton to Swaledale. 
The chapels of Coniston and Hubberholme give Upper 
Wharfedale a special interest of its own. The foot of the 
West Riding dales, on the other hand, has less to show than 
the corresponding country in the North Riding. Nidderdale 
from Pateley Bridge to Knaresborough, and the neighbour- 
hood of Ripon, abound in small modern churches, a few of 
which are interesting as examples of modern Gothic work 
at its costliest. In Lower Wharfedale, with two or three 
good churches between Bolton Priory and Collingham 
Bridge, we meet the first signs of the great industrial dis- 
trict which absorbs the lower portion of Airedale. The 
surroundings of Leeds and Bradford are hardly an ideal 
district for the ecclesiologist, although the church of Adel 
and some of the more rural churches of Skyrack wapentake 
relieve the prevailing sterility. In the wapentakes of Mor- 
ley and Agbrigg, the valleys of the Calder and the Colne, 
whose area corresponds to the modern see of Wakefield, the 
conditions of the northern dales are repeated amid changed 
circumstances. Immense parishes like Halifax and Almond- 
bury, or Burnley and Rochdale on the other side of the 
Pennine watershed, which in the Middle Ages embraced 
great tracts of bare moorland and almost uninhabited valley, 
keep their mother-churches, although in some cases rebuilt 
or restored out of knowledge : the daughter-chapels have in 
most instances been enlarged or totally rebuilt, 1 and have be- 
come in turn the mother-churches of a crowd of new ecclesias- 
tical districts, which are still submitting to a constant process 
of sub-division. In the diocese of Wakefield, out of some two 

1 Thus the " White Chapel " at Cleckheaton, originally in Birstall parish, 
has been twice rebuilt, in 1706 and 1831, and twice restored in the last thirty- 
one years. 


hundred parish and district churches, only some twenty-five 
are ancient fabrics ; and the majority of these lie in the hill- 
country south of Wakefield and west of Barnsley. East of 
Penistone, which is the extreme point of this district, matters 
improve ; and the neighbourhood of Sheffield contains a 
relatively large number of interesting buildings, some of 
them, like Ecclesfield or Darfield, among the most imposing 
parish churches in Yorkshire. Farther east, the more rural 
parts of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, north and 
south of the deep valley of the Don, are fertile in mediaeval 
churches of all periods, usually small and rather plain, but 
breaking out here and there into spaciousness of plan and 
richness of ornament. The noble churches of Fishlake and 
Hatfield are the great adornments of the flat and dreary 
edge of this wapentake east of Doncaster, and ally them- 
selves rather to the churches of Howdenshire than to those 
of the hilly districts to the west. Between Doncaster and 
Selby to the north, and Pontefract to the north-west, the 
utmost variety of plan and style prevails. In a single day's 
walk from Doncaster to Pontefract, allowing for a slightly cir- 
cuitous route, the churches of Arksey, Owston, Burghwallis, 
Campsall, Womersley, and Darrington, provide an epitome of 
mediaeval church architecture and a lesson in the variety and 
elasticity of the mediaeval church-plan. South of Selby, 
Birkin, Brayton, and the large church of Snaith present the 
same variety. At Selby itself, we have the great churches 
of Hemingbrough and Howden to the east ; to the north, 
the wapentake of Ouse and Derwent, with its beautiful 
churches of Skipwith, Riccall, and Stillingfleet, encroaches, 
with the windings of the Ouse, upon the boundary of the 
West Riding; while, finally, to the west, crowning the ridge 
between the lower valleys of the Wharfe and the Aire, the 
church of Sherburn-in-Elmet claims for the Barkston Ash 
wapentake a pre-eminence little, if at all, lower than Hedon 
and Patrington claim for Holderness, or Howden and Tickhill 
for the divisions of the county to which they lend their names. 
For the simplest type of plan we naturally go to the 


earliest churches. The norm of the pre-Conquest plan, 
so far as the smaller churches of Northern England are 
concerned, is supplied by the church of Escomb in county 
Durham an aisleless rectangular nave, long in proportion 
to its breadth, separated by a chancel-arch, narrow at 
Escomb, but with a tendency to widen as time advances, 
from a small rectangular chancel, which approximates on 
plan to a square. No existing fabric in Yorkshire, at any 
rate above ground, can lay claim to the recognised antiquity 
of Escomb. A great number of North Riding churches 
contain, built up in their walls, fragments of stonework 
which in many cases may belong to the age of St. Wilfrid, 
and bear witness to its artistic activity ; but the fact that 
such stones have been used in this way offers strong pre- 
sumptive evidence against the early date of the buildings 
in which they are employed. Several churches, again, 
contain inscriptions of Saxon origin. 1 Three of these, all 
on sundials, record the erection of a building. In one 
case, at Aldbrough, in Mid Holderness, the present church 
is a large aisled building, with no trace of a Saxon fabric. 
At Weaverthorpe, in the Wolds, the church is, beyond 
doubt, of early Norman date, without any indication of 
a structure of the period, the middle of the tenth cen- 
tury, to which the inscription is supposed to point. But 
at Kirkdale, between Helmsley and Kirby Moorside, 
the famous inscription recording the rebuilding of St. 
Gregory's Minster by Orm the son of Gamal in the days 
of King Eadward and Earl Tosti, 2 agrees so well with the 

1 NORTH RIDING : Old Byland, Great Edstone, Hackness, Kirkdale, 
Wensley. EAST RIDING : Aldbrough, Weaverthorpe. WEST RIDING : 
Bingley, Collingham. 

sundial in the centre is inscribed : + PlS IS DAGES SOLMERCA + 
^ET ILCVM TIDE. Below the sundial are the names of the carvers, con- 
tinued fromjhe dedication inscription % 7 HA^ARf) ME J^ROHTE 7 


architectural details of the church, that we may safely con- 
clude that the nave, at any rate, of the present church of 
St. Gregory belongs to Orm's foundation. However, the 
inscription also limits the date of the fabric to a few years 
before the Conquest, so that it is one of the latest sur- 
vivals of distinctively Saxon art in the north of England. 

A north aisle was added to the nave at Kirkdale towards 
the end of the twelfth century. The same thing has 
happened in the two other Yorkshire churches which still 
retain obvious traces of their aisleless Saxon plan. At 
Kirby Hill, close to the Roman road, where, having 
crossed the Ure at Boroughbridge, it enters the North 
Riding, is a rebuilt north aisle, the arcade of which was 
cut through the early wall about the middle of the twelfth 
century. A small portion of the original wall has been 
left untouched at the west end; 1 and the whole south 
wall remains practically without alteration, with the excep- 
tion that the entrance on that side was widened and re- 
constructed during the twelfth century. The chancel is a 
mediaeval rebuilding on a larger scale of the Saxon chancel, 
and has a north chapel, which, though much altered, seems 
to have been originally of the same date as the north aisle. 
One feature which this church shares in common with the 
earliest English stone churches, is the re-use of Roman 
material in the structure, perhaps pillaged from the neigh- 
bouring ruins of Isurium. The lowest quoin-stone, for 
example, on the south-west angle of the tower, has a 
classical moulding round its face ; it measures 3 ft. 3 ins. 
long, by i ft. 10 ins. broad, and is I ft. 7 ins. thick. In 
all probability it has been originally an altar or a memorial 
slab. Built into the walls, again, are several fragments of 
Saxon sculpture, as at Kirkdale, pointing to a comparatively 
late period of Saxon building. Enough of the Saxon south 

1 The north side of ihe tower has been engaged within the north aisle, and 
the fragment of wall with its quoin-stones adjoins it. The tower has not been 
pierced towards the aisle. Exactly the same thing may be seen on either side 
of the engaged and unpierced early tower at Winterton in Lincolnshire. 



doorway remains to tell us something of its appearance and 
dimensions ; and, inside the doorway, the disposition of 
some roughly cut voussoirs above the present arch seems 
to hint that the Saxon doorway, whose beautiful eastern 
impost-block and springing-stones remain on the outer face, 
took the place of an earlier and plainer entrance. 

Little more than nine miles south of Kirby Hill, on the 
opposite side of the Roman road and on the north bank of 
the Nidd, is Kirk Hammerton, where not only the nave but 
the chancel also retain their original dimensions, and, with 
few alterations, their original masonry. Early in the thir- 
teenth century, at latest, the high north wall was pierced 
by a very lofty arcade of two bays. The north aisle then 
added, after passing through various changes, finally dis- 
appeared in 1891, when a new nave, chancel, and north 
aisle were added to the Saxon fabric. This now, with its 
western tower, forms the south aisle and chapel of the new 
church. The plan is thus of the simplest character, and 
the structure appears to be all of one date. The masonry 
in the lowest courses of the south wall of the nave is com- 
posed of extremely large blocks of stone, which, however, 
bear no obvious indications of the Roman tooling which the 
situation of the church might lead us to expect. That the 
present fabric is of late Saxon origin seems probable from 
the recessing of the chancel-arch. This is very roughly done, 
by means of an amateur expedient, which seems to suggest 
that the masons were acquainted with Norman methods, but 
were without skill to apply their knowledge perfectly. The 
arch is of two unmoulded orders, springing from impost- 
blocks, which are divided to match them, and form, as it were, 
the abaci to similarly divided blocks below. The upper and 
lower blocks have their corners chamfered off in the rudest 
fashion ; the jambs below them, of half-octagon section, are 
divided for part of the way down, but the jamb of the inner 
order gradually recedes into that of the outer until both 
unite. To put it more accurately, the jamb of the inner 
order is corbelled out from the main jamb in the most 

s < 


I I 


elementary fashion. If the principle of harmony between 
the jamb and the orders of the arch is understood better 
here than in most surviving examples of early recessing, 
nowhere is it manifested so artlessly. 1 

Another sign of the late Saxon date of such buildings 
as Kirk Hammerton and Kirby Hill is the presence on 
the ground-plan of a western tower which in neither case 
can be proved to have arisen on the walls of an earlier 
fore-building. The tower at Kirby Hill has been largely 
rebuilt. That of Kirk Hammerton is a good example of 
what is commonly called the Lincolnshire type, from its 
frequency in certain parts of Lincolnshire, but occurs here 
and there in other districts of England. In Yorkshire there 
are several examples of this kind of tower, with its unbut- 
tressed angles, its offset between each stage, its unmoulded 
arch with plain impost-blocks towards the church, its traces 
of a western doorway, and its double belfry-windows, with 
mid-wall shafts and through-stone imposts. At Bardsey, 
between Wetherby and Leeds, is the only Yorkshire example 
of a tower which appears to have had a substructure in the 
form of a regular porch, like those earlier substructures on 
which the towers of Monkwearmouth, Corbridge, Brixworth, 
and other churches were added. Although in Yorkshire 
the early towers are much more widely scattered than in 
Lincolnshire, where they occur in relatively large clusters, 
some of them have an interest of detail which separates 
them from their Lincolnshire kindred. 2 No attempt is made, 
so far as the present writer has noticed, to give the mid-wall 

1 The original chancel-arch, now merely the tower-arch, of Broughton, 
near Brigg, in Lincolnshire, figured by Baldwin Brown, Arts in Early 
England, vol. ii. p. 213, should be compared and contrasted with Kirk 

2 Some Yorkshire towers, for which, or part of which, a Saxon origin has 
been claimed by antiquaries, are as follows : YORK : St. Mary Bishophill 
Junior. NORTH RIDING : Appleton-le-Street, Hornby, Hovingham, Kirby 
Hill, Kirkdale, Masham, Middleton (near Pickering), Newton-on-Ovse, Sheriff 
ffutton, Stonegrave, Terrington. EAST RIDING : Market Weighton, Skipwith, 
Weaverthorpe, Wharram-le-Street. WEST RIDING : Hooton Pagnell, Leatkley, 
Ledsham, Maltby, Monk Fryston, Little Ousefarn, Stainton (near Tickhill)- 


shaft a carved capital. But the fine tower of Appleton-le- 
Street has the unique feature of a middle as well as an 
upper stage with the double belfry-opening. At Hoving- 
ham, four or five miles west of Appleton, the tower has 
indubitable signs of lateness rubble coring here and there 
in the jambs of the tower-arch, a herring-bone course in the 
wall above, fragments of early crosses and a handsome piece 
of sculpture, which can hardly be of the earliest date, 1 built 
into the outer walls of the structure, and a western doorway 
which looks as if it were an early Norman insertion ; but 
the mid-wall shafts are mere rough monoliths, hardly shaped 
to suit their position, and in the south wall of the tower is 
a narrow window with an outer as well as an inner splay, a 
feature which none of the Lincolnshire towers of similar 
date possesses. 2 At Hovingham, too, there is a feature which 
is rare in Lincolnshire, a doorway-like opening, now blocked, 
on the north side of the east wall above the tower-arch. 3 
The use of these openings is still a debated question, and 
cannot be touched on here. It may be noted, however, that 
the existence of an oblong wall-recess, with roughly dressed 
shafts on each side and a horizontal roll-moulding along the 
head, on the first floor of the tower at Skipwith, has been 
cited as part of the evidence for the use of these towers as 
habitations for one of the church officials, or as places of 
refuge in case of emergency. The top stage of Skipwith 
tower was altered in the course of the fifteenth century ; 
but all the original window-openings in the lower stages 
have a double splay, and the arch into the nave, though 
much broader than the majority of tower-arches of its type, 
is encircled with a band of strip work, an unquestionably 

1 Mr. W. G. Collingwood, in his recent article on " Anglian and Anglo- 
Danish Sculpture in the North Riding" ( Yorks. Arch. Journal, part 75), 
attributes this " lintel, altar-front, or reredos," with its eight figures in arcaded 
panels, to the " full development of Anglian art " in the eighth century. 

2 It is found in the lower and earlier part of the tower at Barton-on-Hum- 
ber, but not in the upper stage, which belongs to the period and type now 
under discussion. 

3 Broughton and Winterton (much restored) are Lincolnshire examples; 
there are one or two others, but not more. 

" w 



Saxon feature, which is shared by none of the eastern open- 
ings of the Lincolnshire towers. 1 Strip-work round an 
opening is found again in the north doorway at Laughton- 
en-le-Morthen, which has fortunately been preserved amid 
the enlargements of later centuries. 

It is not impossible that, in the Yorkshire western 
tower of the eleventh century, we may see an important 
element in the transition from Saxon to Norman methods of 
building. The data for this transition, in our present state 
of knowledge, are inconsiderable. The exact date of such 
work as the recessing of the arch at Kirk Hammerton is 
impossible to discover. It may have been the work of 
English masons after the Conquest. On the other hand, 
Norman work may have found English disciples before the 
Conquest ; after the Conquest, the earliest Norman work in 
Yorkshire, like that in the crypt at Lastingham, shows a 
skill and refinement which are an exact antithesis to the 
clumsy experiment of the Kirk Hammerton mason, working 
far nearer the local centres of civilisation. It is much more 
likely that we must look to the reign of Edward the Confes- 
sor, and to the influx of foreigners and foreign fashions into 
the country, for the first stumbling encounters of our native 
artists with that new type of Romanesque which, before the 
end of the century, at Durham and York and Lincoln, was 
to win its chief triumphs in England. The Saxon western 
tower once established as a type in Yorkshire exercised its 
influence for years. Distinct from towers with the charac- 
teristic mid-wall openings and their invariable features, 
there are some twelve or thirteen towers, which in their 
proportions and some of their details, have been claimed as 
Saxon. 2 Hornby, for instance, between the Swale and Ure 
valleys, has a tower with the double belfry opening and the 
mid-wall shaft; but the large, regular cushion-capital of the 

1 It occurs beside the jambs of the west arch of the crossing at Stow, 
finished up above the ground level, as at Laughton-en-le-Morthen, by rect- 
angular and semi-cylindrical corbels. 

3 These have been italicised in note 2, page 115. 


shaft at once betrays a post-Saxon origin. In other towers 
such as the very spacious tower at Hooton Pagnell, or the 
tall and slender tower of Weaverthorpe, fabrics which are, 
no doubt, Norman in origin ally themselves by gauntness 
and plainness of detail to the towers of the more definite and 
rather earlier type. The traveller from Doncaster to York 
may be excused, if, glancing from the train window at the 
towers of Brayton and Riccall, 1 he labels them in his mind 
as Saxon. Belonging to the later part of the twelfth 
century, they are faithful in general outline to the type 01 a 
hundred years before. 

The Norman remains in Yorkshire are embarrassing in 
their multitude. In dealing with them, the most convenient 
method is to select examples according to their plan. We 
take first the rarest, the aisleless plan with an apsidal 
eastern termination. Examples of this are very few indeed. 
Lately, the foundations of an extremely small and narrow 
apse were discovered beneath the chancel floor of a Cleve- 
land church, Ingleby Greenhow. The apse at Feliskirk, 
near Thirsk, had been destroyed in the later Middle Ages ; 
but enough was left to make its reconstruction possible a 
few years ago. Here and at the famous church of Lasting- 
ham, where the upper building is probably later than the 
early Norman crypt below, the nave has been transformed 
by the addition 01 north and south aisles at the beginning 
of the succeeding period. The best example of the apse- 
plan, however, is the church of Birkin, on the north bank of 
the Aire, between Selby and Pontefract. A late Norman 
structure, probably built between 1150 and 1160, its north 
nave-wall, the lower portion of its western tower, its apsidal 
chancel, and the rectangular presbytery-space between apse 
and nave, remain perfect. A broad south aisle was added 
in the fourteenth century ; but the Norman south doorway, 

1 An interesting point in connection with the tower of Riccall is its eastern 
arch to the nave, which is divided by a central octagonal column into two 
pointed arches. This looks like an afterthought, taken to provide against a 
settlement, probably about fifty years after the building of the tower. 

" u : WT* 

H- 5 -^ 


one of the most beautiful examples of its class in Yorkshire, 
was removed from the old to the new wall, and forms the 
principal entrance to the church. The Norman masonry, 
composed of large oblong blocks, is beautifully dressed and 
finely jointed. The apse has a ribbed vault, and a semi- 
circular arch with rich, but not over-rich, ornament divides 
it from the presbytery, which another similar but somewhat 
richer arch divides from the nave. Outside, the push of the 
ribs of the apse-vault is met by plain pilaster buttresses 
of bold projection ; the arches of the three windows of the 

M I^CinC. 


apse are moulded, and the mouldings studded at intervals 
with medallions. The sill of the east window has been cut 
down, and tracery has been inserted ; but otherwise this 
beautiful apse is one of the most perfect specimens of its 
type in England. 

By far the most common Norman plan is that which 
is directly derived from the rectangular Saxon plan. The 
nave is broader and, in many cases, longer; the chancel 
is more spacious in proportion to the nave, and, although 
approximately square as a rule, is yet sometimes long and 
rather narrow, as is the case at Moor Monkton in the 
Ainsty. A western tower is an optional part of the plan ; 


and, where it occurs, its proportions are by no means fixed, 
but vary between the heavy and broad type, which is per- 
haps most common in the western parts of the county, and 
the slender type recalling the proportions of the earlier 
towers. The fine and perfect church of Adel is content 
with a western bell-cote. Instances in which the plan can 
be clearly traced, even beneath an accumulation of later 
additions, are numerous. The tower-arch at Appleton- 
le-Street, which, in early Norman times, may have taken 
the place of a Saxon predecessor, opens into an aisled 
church with thirteenth-century arcades. In the late Gothic 
church of Bubwith, the broad, semicircular chancel-arch, 
with its heavy roll-mouldings, and an adjacent piece of 
wall, remind us of the nucleus round which the present 
structure grew. The south doorway, the tower-arch, and 
the chancel-arch at Bray ton, are the evidence from which 
we can reconstruct, within the aisled church of later years, 
a smaller church hardly less beautiful than its near neigh- 
bour at Birkin. 1 

But a large number of these aisleless plans have sur- 
vived with little, if any, later addition. The fame of Adel, 
as of Lastingham, is too wide to make anything more than 
a mention of it necessary here. The eighteenth-century 
rebuilders of the Cleveland churches have been mentioned 
already. Fortunately, they seem to have been content to 
do their work on the original foundations, even if here and 
there they did away with a chancel. Thus it is probable 
that, in Cleveland, a considerable number of churches and 
parochial chapels, whose appearance is at first sight most 
unpromising, keep their plan of the twelfth and even of 
the eleventh century. Kirk Levington, near Yarm, which 
has been almost entirely rebuilt within the last thirty 
years, is a good example of the larger aisleless Norman 
church of the district. Hilton, across the Leven, has a 

1 Kirkby Wiske, almost wholly of the fourteenth century, has a late Norman 
south door ; and a fragment of the south wall of the early church remains at 
the west end of the south arcade. 


smaller church of exceptional interest. It is towerless, 
has north and south doorways, a broad chancel-arch, and 
a spacious chancel, the intention of the builders with 
regard to which is hard to fathom. The present east wall 
is not bonded into the adjoining walls, and may be later 
than the rest of the fabric. Inside the chancel, the lower 
part of the north and south walls, on either side of the 
altar, project to a height of about 5^ feet; the projections 
are finished off at the top by a chamfered cornice, and 
are terminated on their west faces by dwarf shafts with 
cushion-capitals. It is possible that this arrangement was 
intended to carry a platform for the altar, and so give 
room for a half-subterranean relic-chamber below ; but 
of such a chamber there is no trace. 1 The chancel, too, 
may have been planned to extend farther east ; but whether 
with an apsidal or an ordinary rectangular end it is im- 
possible to say. The south door of the church is an 
interesting specimen of a rough attempt at rich orna- 
mentation. A series of chevrons is cut in the edge of 
the voussoirs, and an upper row incised in their out- 
ward face. 

The especial home of the aisleless Norman church is, as 
has been indicated, the southern slopes of the North Riding 
moors, the Vale of Pickering, and the East Riding wolds 
across the Derwent. South Kilvington, close to Thirsk, 
a quaint little church with a wooden bell-turret, keeps one 
or two of its early Norman windows, plain, narrow loops 
with rounded heads and wide inner splays, of which excel- 
lent examples may be seen in other parts of the county, 
in the eastern triplet, for instance, at Askham Bryan in 
the Ainsty, or in the westernmost windows of the north 
aisle at Conisbrough. As a rule, the window-openings of 
Norman churches in Yorkshire are wider, and the inner 

1 North Otterington, near Northallerton, has a ledge at the back of the 
altar, crossing the whole chancel, which may possibly have been intended for 
some such purpose. Cf. at a later date the broad platform, with a lower 
chamber, at Tunstead. in East Norfolk. 


splay less abrupt. A good \ twelfth-century church, with 
a later western tower and a few other alterations, remains 
at Salton, in Ryedale, near the confluence of the Dove 
and the Rye. Four miles south of Salton is Barton-le- 
Street, famous for its rich collection of Norman sculptures. 
This church, which probably belongs to the third quarter 
of the twelfth century, was elaborately rebuilt in 1871. 
The walls were lowered by three feet ; a large number or 
the external corbels, which were much worn by the weather, 
were ranged along the upper part of the interior walls, 
and replaced on the outside by a new set ; the south 
doorway was rebuilt in the north wall, and the original 
north doorway moved outwards to form the entrance 
of a porch which is a small museum of twelfth-century 
carved work. In spite of changes for which there was 
doubtless some excellent reason, Barton-le-Street stands 
high among Yorkshire churches of the type in question. 
But a more attractive, though less highly ornamented, 
example of the aisleless plan lies some miles westward, 
on the road across the Hambleton Hills from Thirsk to 
Helmsley. At the top of the precipitous bank above 
Rievaulx Abbey, looking down on the broad green ter- 
race, with its Italian temples, across the vale, and com- 
manding a wide view of dale and moorland to the north, 
is the little church of Scawton, founded by the Cistercians 
of Byland in 1146. The south doorway has chevron 
ornament; and the nave and chancel are divided by an 
unmoulded, unrecessed arch, one of several in which 
Yorkshire builders seem to have preserved Saxon tradi- 
tions till a very late period. 1 On either side of this arch, 
the face of the wall is pierced by a low, round-headed 
opening with chevron ornament, beneath each of which 
it is probable that a small altar originally stood against 

1 Among chancel -arches of this kind should be noted these: NORTH 
RIDING : East Ayton, Birdforth, Dalby, Husthwaite, Marton-on-the-F orest, 
Scawton. EAST RIDING : Rudston, Skirpenbeck, Speeton. WEST RID ING : 
Adwick on-Dearne, Nether Poppleton, High Melton, Ryther. 


the lower part of the wall. 1 A most curious feature in 
the chancel, though probably an addition to the original 
building, is the small stone trough in the north wall, with 
a drain pierced behind and emptying outside the church. 
Old Byland, north of Scawton, is substantially the fabric 
built in the first years of the twelfth century; and Hawnby, 
in Bilsdale, farther north again, has the aisleless plan and 
some remains of Norman work. 

The Wolds, like the moors, offer the double attraction 
of delightful country and interesting churches. Most of the 
Norman buildings in this district have been carefully re- 
stored ; and this is the case with the two most important 
examples, Garton and Kirkburn, both within a few miles 
of Driffield and of each other. Both churches are spacious 
buildings, wide and lofty, with western towers that are in 
some part original. The tower at Garton has a fine western 
doorway, with a figure of St. Michael, the patron saint, 
conquering Satan, with attendant angels in the wall above. 
The interior of the church, lit by round-headed windows 
high up in the wall, was decorated with wall-paintings in 
the seventies of the last century, and the chancel was much 
renewed. At Kirkburn the chancel has been rebuilt; the 
chancel-arch, however, is original. The large nave is with- 
out the elaborate decoration which has been applied to the 
nave at Garton; the original windows are high in the wall, 
and the insertion of two later window-openings on the south 
side does little to relieve the severity and gloom of the 
interior. There can, however, be few more striking views 

1 A famous example of this arrangement is the eleventh-century chancel- 
arch at Bracebridge, near Lincoln. It has been explained as a survival of 
the screen-wall with triple openings, traces of which are seen in a few of 
the earliest Saxon churches. At Avening, Gloucestershire, and at Castle 
Rising, Norfolk, both with central towers, recesses (blocked at Avening) 
appear on either side the western tower-arch. Altars clearly stood beneath 
these, as they still stand on each side of the central opening of some mediaeval 
rood-screens e.g. Ranworth, Norfolk ; Patricio, Breconshire ; and Ober- 
wesel, in Rhenish Prussia. The recesses may have contained a small re-table 
(what we now call a reredos), or may have been left open to allow of the 
undivided view of the chancel which the narrow central arch prohibited. 


in an English church than the view of this nave, looking 
westward from under the modern chancel-screen. In the 
centre of the nave, opposite the south entrance, is the 
splendid Norman font, one of a fine series, covered with 
rich but very rude sculptures, which adds much to the 
ecclesiological value of the Wold churches. 1 Beyond this, 
through the tower-arch, an open staircase, worn and narrow, 
climbs along the south wall of the tower, and turns at right 
angles to cross the west wall to a door in the north-west 
angle. The embrasure of the west window is connected 
by a few steps with the western flight of steps. The 
effect, though on a much smaller scale and in a more 
confined space, is as striking as that of the more famous 
night-stair at Hexham or the chapter-house staircase at 
Wells; and here the design is all the more remarkable, 
inasmuch as its surroundings are stern and simple, and it 
has to depend for its attractions on its own merits of pro- 
portion. The exterior of Kirkburn church has the usua 
pilaster buttresses from eaves to ground, broken only by 
the string-course beneath the windows ; the corbel-table, 
renewed in places with some inventive skill, may be com- 
pared with the remains of the old corbel-table at Barton- 
le-Street ; and, as usual, the builders have expended the 
best of their ornament on the south doorway, which is now 
covered by a later porch. 

1 The most important members of this series, apart from Kirkburn, are 
at Cottam, Cowlam, and North Grimston. Heighten, near Hunmanby, has 
another beautiful Norman font. The East Riding contains many examples, 
some of which have been recently illustrated by the Rev. E. Maule Cole in 
a paper read at the York meeting of the Lincolnshire and Notts Architectural 
Society in 1902 (Associated Societies' Reports, 1904). Later East Riding fonts 
are the Transitional fonts at Middleton-on-the-Wolds and North Newbald, 
the thirteenth-century font at Londesborough, and later Gothic fonts at Hedon, 
Hull, and Goodmanham (c. 1550). The most interesting North Riding fonts, 
apart from the fine early font at Alne, are the late and very similar black 
marble fonts at Catterick, South Cowton, and North Kilvington, all of the 
fifteenth century : there is a beautiful wooden font-cover at Well. A fine 
Norman font, cylindrical, like Kirkburn and its class, remains at Thorpe 
Salvin, in the West Riding ; and Fishlake has a handsome font of the late 
fourteenth century. For a list of Yorkshire fonts, see Cox and Harvey, Eng. 
Church Furniture, 1907, pp. 228-31. 


Several churches of the same type, hardly inferior to 
Garton or Kirkburn, lie in or just outside the irregular 
rectangle between Malton, Pocklington, Driffield, and Scar- 
borough. Weaverthorpe, Sherburn, Kilham, and Nunburn- 
holme, although differing much in proportions, are examples 
in which an original plan has been kept, although certain 
insertions and rebuildings have modified the outward ap- 
pearance of the building, particularly as regards the chancel. 
Etton, Givendale, Millington, and the rebuilt church of 
Kilnwick Percy, may also be cited. A later north aisle 
has been added to the churches, among others, of Friday- 
thorpe and Thwing, which otherwise are beautiful instances 
of the type, and to the interesting church of Goodmanham, 
on a site famous in the annals of Northumbrian Chris- 
tianity. At Kirby Underdale, the window-heads of the 
aisleless church have been preserved above the pointed 
arches of arcades which, in the earlier part of the later 
half of the twelfth century, were cut through the Norman 
walls. Seamer, just across the northern boundary of the 
East Riding, has a small fifteenth-century north aisle, 
whose builders adhered with greater faithfulness to the 
Norman elevation. The nave is, like that at Kilham, 
unusually spacious even in a district where large aisle- 
less naves were not uncommon. The window-openings are 
wide, and, as usual, high in the wall, and on the outside 
are separated from one another by pilaster buttresses. In 
adding the north aisle, the lower part of the wall only was 
pierced with a very low arcade of four wide bays. The 
windows above were preserved intact; and so little of the 
wall was touched that the buttresses descend through 
the aisle-roof, and are cut away only where the spring of 
the arches makes their shortening necessary. The chancel 
of Seamer was treated more drastically, and the arch into 
the north chapel was allowed to block an original window ; 
but, on the higher level of the chancel, a sufficiently high 
arch could hardly have been pierced without touching the 
window-opening. As an instance of conservatism amid 


much addition and alteration, the church of Bugthorpe, 
between the Derwent and the Wolds, may be cited. Here 
the chancel was rebuilt and greatly heightened in the 
fourteenth century ; but, in front of the new chancel-arch, 
the old Norman chancel-arch was preserved with curious 

Adel is the chief example in the West Riding of the 
rectangular aisleless plan. In the rural districts of West 
Yorkshire, churches of this type, as in the Ainsty, are 
small, and approximate more nearly to those of the North 
Riding than to the large churches of the Wold district. 
The pleasant tract of country west of Doncaster supplies 
the most interesting specimens. Burghwallis church has 
an unaltered plan, and its south wall is almost wholly 
composed of masonry laid in herring-bone courses. 1 The 
north wall also is partly constructed in this way ; but the 
east wall has been entirely rebuilt in the fifteenth century 
of large squared blocks of grey Yorkshire stone. This 
church, with its plain unbuttressed western tower, is one 
of those in which the primitive traditions of Saxon building 
seem to have had some influence on the builders of Norman 
times ; but the proportions of the nave and the abundance 
and regularity of the herring-bone work, to say nothing 
of indications that the tower is later than it looks, are 
against any theory, in our present state of knowledge, of 
the pre-Norman origin of the fabric. A pre-Conquest 
origin has sometimes been claimed for the neighbouring 
church of Hooton Pagnell, where a north aisle was added 
towards the end of the twelfth century to the nave, and 
a north chapel, at a not very certain date, to the chancel. 
The proportions of the original part of the building are 

1 Fragments of herring-bone work remain in the adjacent churches of 
Campsall and Owston. Bulmer, Hauxwell, and Terrington in the North, 
and Market Weighton in the East Riding, are further instances of the use of 
herring-bone work. At Upton in Lincolnshire, near Gainsborough, nearly 
the whole south wall is built in this economical fashion, recalling the wall 
at Burghwallis. The proportions at Upton can leave no suspicion that the 
date of the fabric is anything but Norman. 



very fine; the massive western tower, which is unbut- 
tressed and relatively tall, is divided from the nave by a 
round-headed arch of three unmoulded orders, adapted in 
an unusual manner to unrecessed jambs with chamfered 
impost-blocks. It is possible that here we have the reverse 
of the process which we have noticed rudely employed at 
Kirk Hammerton, and that the mason, probably during 
the last quarter of the eleventh century, has endeavoured, 
in a conservative spirit, to combine the recessed arch, 
whose construction he thoroughly understands, with the 
plain jambs of an earlier style. He has moulded the 
single order of his imposing chancel-arch with an edge- 
roll, has decorated the under-edge of his impost-blocks 
with a cable ornament, and has inserted in the angles 
of the jambs shafts with primitive-looking capitals of a 
bulbous shape, cable neck-mouldings, and bases which, 
with the cable ornaments above them, are simply a replica 
of the capitals turned upside down. In his south doorway 
he has worked with the same apparent idea of compromise ; 
and the whole building, though Mr. Pearson's restoration 
has introduced some rather incongruous elements, is a very 
unusual example of an early Norman church in which the 
traditions of our pre-Conquest architecture have been per- 
petuated by a mason of no mean skill in design. Two 
miles to the south, the low chancel-arch of Hickleton, with 
chevron ornament and nook-shaft capitals that look as if their 
author had gone to Hooton Pagnell for inspiration, is the 
Norman nucleus of a church whose outer casing is entirely 
of the fifteenth century. Farther south again, at High 
Melton, where there is a later south aisle, the chancel-arch, 
broad and flat in shape, is without moulding, and springs 
from plain imposts ; it is almost hidden by a very elaborate 
modern screen. 

Crossing the Don at Conisbrough, and ascending the 
opposite hill, we come to Edlington, a small church of late 
twelfth-century date, in which there is no trace of Saxon 
plainness of detail. Here the tower, north aisle, and north 


chapel are later than the original building; but the south 
wall contains a beautiful doorway, and, in the midst of ex- 
cellent contemporary masonry, a round-headed window of 
unusual length, with a band of zigzag fringing the entire 
opening, and an outer covering-arch with small angle-shafts. 
A Norman corbel-table remains above this window; but 
the wall has been heightened, and the corbel-table left in 
its original place. The supporting-shafts of the chancel- 
arch, instead of coming down to plinths near the floor, stop 
at half the height of the jambs, the lower parts of which 
serve as a pedestal for their bases. 1 If the West Riding 
has fewer aisleless Norman churches to show than the 
other divisions of the county, it must be owned that, with 
Adel and the originally aisleless fabrics of Hooton Pagnell 
and Edlington, it is not behind them in quality. Certainly, 
no part of Yorkshire is superior to the West Riding in the 
matter of those splendid doorways, sometimes of from three 
to six orders, which are, in many cases, the chief relic of 
a Norman fabric, when all else has been transformed and 
enlarged. The doorways of Adel, Fishlake, Thorpe Salvin, 
Birkin, and Brayton have very few equals in the other 
Ridings. The doorway at Stillingfleet, with its four carved 
orders and the curious ironwork of its door, is only outside 
the Riding by the breadth of the Ouse; and the two ex- 
amples in the Walmgate churches at York are essentially 
of the same type as the West Riding doorways. 2 

1 A post-Norman parallel to this may be seen in the much-restored late 
thirteenth-century chancel-arch at Osmotherley in Allertonshire. There are 
indications of a Norman arrangement of this kind at Swaton in South Lin- 
colnshire. The nearest parallel to Edlington which the present writer has 
noticed is at Ston-Easton in Somerset, a few miles north of Shepton Mallet. 

" The splendid doorway at Alne, in Bulmer wapentake, deserves special 
mention. Doorways, south unless otherwise specified, not mentioned in 
the text, are noted in the following list, which is only a selection of striking 
instances. Italicised names imply that the church contains a chancel-arch 
of the same period. NORTH RIDINO : Alne. Amotherby, Ampleforth (N.), 
East Ayton (N. and S.), Great Ayfon, Bowes (N. and S.), Old Byland, Cayton, 
Danby Wiske (with carved tympanum), Forcett, Haujcwell, Helmsley (much 
restored), Hovingham, ffusthwaite, Kilburn, Kirkby Hill, Kirkby Wiske. 
Great Langton (on Swale). Old Malton (W.), Marske (Swaledale), Osmotherley, 
Oswaldkirk (N.), Fickkill, Redmire, West Reunion, Over Silton, Sinnington, 


A third type of Norman plan is the aisleless cross-plan 
with central tower. Traces of this are to be found in more 
than one place ; but the one example which remains in 
anything like its original condition is the church of North 
Newbald, in a valley of the Wolds, four miles south of Mar- 
ket Weigh ton. This, however, takes its place with Adel, 
Birkin, Kirkburn, and Lastingham, among the finest Norman 
churches, not merely in Yorkshire, but in the kingdom. Its 
plan evidently included apsidal chapels east of the transepts 
the entrance-arches of which are left, and a chancel which 
also may have ended in an apse to match the others. Un- 
fortunately, the beautiful termination thus planned was 
destroyed, apparently in the later part of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. The present chancel is at any rate of that date, and 
the arches of the transeptal chapels are blocked with walls 
pierced with Perpendicular window-openings. The west 
window, also, was inserted at the same time ; and it must 
be owned that the alterations imparted light and cheerful- 
ness to the severe interior, whose plainness is relieved 
otherwise only by the ornaments of the east and west tower- 
arches and the chapel-arches of the transepts. The new 
work, too, was thoroughly good and worthy of the fabric ; 
and, whatever we may think of the wholesale destruction 

Sowerby, Thornton-le-Street, Thornton Steward, Well, Wilton (Cleveland). 
EAST RIDING : Aughton, Bishop Wilton, North Dalton, Fangfoss, Folkton, 
Fridaythorp, Goodmanham (N. and W.), North Grimston, Hilston (N. and 
S.), Hutton Cranswick, Kilham, Kilnwick Percy, Kirby Underdale, Londes- 
borough, Millington, Nunburnholme, Riccall, Shipton-Thorpe, Skirpenbeck, 
Thorpe Bassett, Thwing (with carved tympanum), Weaverthorpe, Wharram- 
fe-Stretf, Wold Newton (with carved tympanum). WEST RIDING : Adwick- 
on-Dearne, Adwick-le-Street, Askham Bryan (with outer doorway to porch), 
Austerfield, Bardsey, Bracewell, Braithwell, Campsall (W.), Conisbrough, 
Coniston (Wharfedale), Copmanthorpe (W.), Hartshead, Healaugh, Kirk 
Bramwith, Kirkby Malzeard, Kirkby Wharfe, Moor Monkton, Nun Monkton 
(W.), Upper Poppleton, Rufforth, Saxton, Thorpe Salvin, Wadworth. Some 
Norman chancel-arches, where no south door occurs, are as follows : NORTH 
RIDING : Appleton Wiske, Dalby, Ellerburn, Hackness, Ingleby Greenhow, 
Kirby Sigston, Levisham, Liverton, Marton-on-the-Forest, Thornaby, Whitby. 
EAST RIDING : Bubwith, Burton Agnes, Givendale, Hunmanby, Reighton, 
Sherburn, Skerne, Speeton. WEST RIDING : Addingham, Kirk Smeaton, 
High Melton, Nether Poppleton, Rossington, Ryther. These lists might 
be tripled if a complete list were given. See Mr. Keyser's paper on Norman 
Doorways in the present volume. 



which brought it into being, we need not regret that no 
restoration, like that at Feliskirk, has been attempted here, 
where the original material has so thoroughly disappeared. 
There is a fine late Norman south doorway ; and there are 
three other entrances with less elaborate, but still beautiful 
ornament, one in the north wall of the nave, and one in each 
transept. North Newbald is unique in the county as 
regards the preservation of the structure on the original 
cruciform plan ; but it is probable that churches of later 
date, such as the cross-churches at Bossall and Acaster 
Malbis, are rebuildings on Norman foundations ; and the 
fine cruciform church of Filey seems to have been an aisle- 
less cross-church, much enlarged by the addition of aisles 
during the Transitional period. 

The continuity of the aisleless plan, whether rectangular 
or cruciform, during the whole of the Middle Ages, is espe- 
cially noticeable, as we might expect, in the small chapels 
which are to be found in the more remote country districts. 
For these humble buildings, in which the main necessity is 
to accommodate a very small congregation, the rectangular 
plan is obviously the most suitable, and is still the favourite 
plan in our own day. But occasionally we find aisleless 
churches of some architectural pretensions built at a later 
period. The conditions which may have governed the plans 
of Bossall and Acaster Malbis, each a very beautiful example 
of its period, have been indicated. Cowthorpe, on the south 
bank of the Nidd, not far from Wetherby, was built in 1458 
without aisles on the rectangular plan ; while at Crofton, 
near Wakefield, is an aisleless cruciform church with a 
central tower built on an entirely new site about 1430. 
The famous chapel of South Skirlaugh in Holderness was 
founded by Walter Skirlaw, Bishop of Durham, before his 
death in 1405. Here the plan is a simple oblong rectangle, 
without division between nave and chancel, and with a 
western tower. Its proportions suggest a relationship to 
the earlier college chapels of Oxford and Winchester or 
to the handsome aisleless chancels of fourteenth-century 


churches, rather than to the traditional plan with nave and 
chancel. But even in some of the smaller Norman churches 
we find an approximation to the simple rectangle without 
division between nave and chancel. There is no trace of 
any such division in the Norman chapel of Copmanthorpe, 
near York, which, however, has been much restored ; and, 
close by, at Askham Richard, the ground-plan is a regular 
rectangle with a chancel-arch so broad that it is little more 
than a conventional transverse division between the two 
parts of the church. Here, too, the restorer has been busy, 
but the arrangement seems to be original. There is no 
chancel-arch at Askham Bryan, little more than a mile east 
of Askham Richard, where a large amount of original Norman 
work remains. Farlington, a late twelfth-century church in 
the Forest of Galtres, is a further instance where rebuilding 
has affected the architectural details of the fabric, but does 
not appear to have modified the original plan. The extra- 
mural chapel at Bolton Castle is another example where the 
western part of the building is later than the eastern ; in this 
case it is just possible that, at the rebuilding, chancel and 
nave may have been thrown into one for the first time. 

On the whole, churches to which aisles have been added 
during the Norman period, or churches which their Norman 
builders may have planned with aisles, are rather excep- 
tional in Yorkshire. The most noble example, outside great 
churches like those of Fountains or Kirkstall Abbey, is the 
nave at Sherburn-in-Elmet. The lower part of the western 
tower is engaged in the aisles, and opens into them and to 
the nave by rounded arches of segmental shape, which have 
three orders merely chamfered, with no other ornament; 
these arches enclose a cross-vault carried on chamfered 
diagonal ribs. This tower and the aisles into which it 
opens were possibly additions of the later twelfth century 
to an earlier aisleless church. The nave arcades, of four 
bays each, are lofty and dignified ; due, no doubt, to the 
architectural influence of Durham, which was so powerful 
throughout the North, and probably reached Sherburn 


through the medium of the Norman work at Selby Abbey. 
Their thick edge-rolls and soffit-rolls, their great cylindrical 
pillars and sparely ornamented capitals, rounded into 
cushion form, strongly recall the arcades of a church built 
under direct inspiration from Durham, the church of Norham- 
on-Tweed. The western respond of the north arcade has 
the curved water-leaf foliage with voluted edges which 
appears as an early sign of Transitional tendencies in 
English architecture ; so that the date of the enlargement of 
the church must be fixed at any rate after 1160. The south 
aisle was altered and probably widened in the fifteenth 
century, when it was continued eastward as a south chapel 
to the chancel ; and, later still, a large chantry-chapel, with 
its entrance in the east wall of the south porch, was built on 
to the aisle, blocking up one of its windows, and communi- 
cating with it by a very unusual opening, the head of which 
is of a double wave-shape, divided by a mullion at the 
bottom of the hollow between the wave-like projections. 1 
There are traces of Norman or Transitional masonry at the 
east end of this aisle. On the other hand, the north aisle has 
never been widened, although it has been heightened and 
rebuilt : its original roof-line is visible outside the west end, 
with an arrangement of blocked window-openings which 
may point to the possibility that the aisles of the late twelfth 
century were not additions but rebuildings on a larger scale, 
and so may account for the discrepancy of detail between 
the arches of the tower and those of the nave. The north 
aisle has never been continued in a line with the chancel ; 
and at its east end are the remains of the springing of an 
apse. Possibly the builders and here we may once more 
recognise the example of Durham intended to complete 
their plan by an apsidal chancel with flanking apses to the 
aisles. Whatever their design may have been, it is most 

1 It is worth while adding that two beautiful triangular-shaped cross-heads, 
with figures of the Saviour, the Blessed Virgin, and St. John, which formed 
opposite faces of a late Gothic churchyard cross, '^ruthlessly sawn asunder, are 
preserved in the north aisle at Sherburn. 


probable that they abandoned it; for the chancel which 
worthily completes this admirable church can hardly have 
been planned much more than a generation after their work 
was begun. Combining fairly advanced Gothic detail the 
string-course beneath the lancet-windows is scroll-shaped 
with the rectangular buttresses which are a sign that Nor- 
man methods of construction were not yet discarded, this 
chancel finds close analogies in the western facades of 
Darlington and Scarborough churches, 1 which both be- 
long to the latest years of the twelfth or earliest years 
of the thirteenth century. The three extremely narrow 
lancet openings in the east wall, splayed inwardly to rere- 
arches with supporting shafts, are Norman in spirit if Gothic 
in detail; a parallel instance of a triple east window of 
Norman date is to be seen at Askham Bryan, where the 
widely splayed openings of the interior wall are, in 
the outer, insignificant slits. 

Sherburn-in-Elmet is a first-rate instance of the gradual 
enlargement of the plan of a church, which from the begin- 
ning must have been of some importance. Usually, the 
enlargement begins with the addition of a north aisle. 2 At 
Conisbrough, the north aisle has a heavy Norman arcade 
of the earlier part of the twelfth century : the south aisle 
was not added till the Gothic period had begun to set in ; 
while, last of all, came the remodelling of the chancel. There 

1 The scroll-shaped string-course is found in the lower part of the un- 
finished western towers at Scarborough ; in its present state, it has been 
renewed, so that we can only surmise that its early form has been kept. 

2 There are about twenty-five examples in the county of churches to 
which only a south aisle has been added. Birkin is a conspicuous instance ; 
and there are some examples near Doncaster Braithwell, Marr, and Stainton. 
Coverham, Easby, Kirkby Misperton, and Hutton Rudby are the best North 
Riding examples, and Barmston is a good instance from the East Riding. 
Carnaby, in the East Riding, originally had a north aisle as well as a south ; 
a north aisle has been added to Langtoft within the last few years. Osmother- 
ley and Winestead are two churches which have a south chancel chapel as 
well as a south aisle ; and the neighbourhood of Doncaster, again, adds to the 
same category Hooton Roberts, Loversall, and High Melton. On the other 
hand, about sixty churches have north aisles only, and over twenty more have 
a north chancel chapel as well. Of these the greater number are in the 
North Riding. 


is a very primitive Norman north arcade at Cayton, near 
Scarborough. Stonegrave, where both arcades are of late 
Norman work, seems to have given priority to the north 
aisle. A very striking example of a plain Norman arcade is 
the north arcade at Middleton Tyas, between Richmond and 
Darlington. It is of six bays, which, owing to the relatively 
small space into which they are crowded, are extremely 
narrow. The number of columns, however, gives a most 
imposing effect of length to this side of the nave. The 
arches are unmoulded, and there are some indications of a 
change in design, for the western respond is very much 
larger in diameter than the eastern, and the third entire 
column from the west end is octagonal, while the rest are 
circular in section. The capitals are scalloped. There 
appears to have been a south aisle of the same date ; but 
the present south arcade is of the earlier part of the four- 
teenth century, and, having only four broad bays to the six 
narrow bays of the north side, is less imposing and more 
than a little incongruous. 1 

Appleton-le-Street, near Malton, is a pattern on a small 
scale of the gradual Gothic enlargement of an aisleless 
church. The western tower of the earlier building sur- 
vives, and has been mentioned above as a pre-eminent 
masterpiece of late Saxon work. 2 After the Conquest, 
the body of the church may have remained untouched, 
though the tower-arch seems to have been widened. 
During the earlier part of the thirteenth century, a very 
narrow north aisle was added to the nave, a handsome 
doorway was cut through the north wall of the tower, 
and the chancel was rebuilt and lengthened. Finally, 
towards the end of the thirteenth century, the south wall 

1 Among aisled Norman churches, the choir of the nuns' church at Swine, 
now the parish church, should not be overlooked. Its pointed arches on 
heavy columns with scalloped capitals, recall, on a small scale, the great 
arcades of Malmesbury Abbey Church. 

2 It should be noticed that one of the mid- wall shafts, at any rate, has 
chevron roughly carved on it, perhaps by a later mason. The same thing 
occurs in the Lincolnshire tower of Harpswell, which, though with some 
Saxon details, is of early Norman proportions. 


of the nave was pierced to communicate with a new aisle 
twice the width of the earlier north aisle. The dividing 
column of the north arcade is cylindrical, with a hollow 
in the base; and the east window of the north aisle, like 
those of the chancel, is a. single lancet. On the other 
hand, the south arcade has an octagonal dividing column 
with convex capital- and base-mouldings; while the east 
window of the south aisle has the forked tracery which was 
most prevalent between 1280 and 1300. Unfortunately, 
eighteenth-century churchwardens, to the zeal of whose 
class the closely adjacent church of Amotherby bears 
eloquent witness, chose to shorten the beautiful chancel 
and so rob it of some of its simple impressiveness. 

The aisled church has brought us into the Gothic period 
of architecture. Yorkshire Gothic, as a whole, lacks that 
consistent elaborateness which distinguishes the Gothic 
of more southern counties. In no other county did the 
Cistercian order make such progress. The graceful and 
fastidious simplicity of detail which marks their work at 
Fountains, Rievaulx, or Roche a simplicity which is not 
without an elaboration of its own finds its echo in the 
less carefully studied plainness of the parish churches. It 
must be owned, however, that the work of the Transitional 
period in Yorkshire varies immensely in character, and that 
it is difficult to trace the different influences which take 
part in it. The general absence of the vaulting-problem 
from parish churches renders the progress of the Transition 
superficially one of change in detail rather than in construc- 
tion ; and this progress is by no means uniform in all dis- 
tricts. If, in the arcades of Kirby Underdale and the chancel- 
arch of Nafferton, the pointed arch adapts itself to the 
heaviness of Norman construction, the rounded arch, in the 
north arcade at Hornby or the south arcade at Whorlton, 
still keeps its place above slender pillars of Gothic character. 
The unwieldy responds of the tower-arch at Darfield and 
the chancel-arch at Silkstone are Norman in their massive- 
ness, but have discarded the capitals and bases which we 


should naturally expect to find for an attempt at a newer 
type of work. The churches of the North Riding, and 
more particularly those of Allertonshire, partake of the 
character of the Transitional work which went on in 
the bishopric of Durham during the last years of Bishop 
Pudsey's reign. Norton-on-Tees and Staindrop, in that 
bishopric, close to the Yorkshire border, are churches in 
which lightness of construction is successfully obtained, but 
the rounded arch, covered no longer with chevron orna- 
ment but worked into less ornate and more delicate forms, 
is still retained. These churches may well have been 
the prototypes of the lofty north arcades of Brompton, 
near Northallerton, and Kirby Sigston. Although foliage 
appears now and then in the capitals of such arcades, it is 
used very sparingly : in this matter, Cistercian austerity may 
have had its influence. Unusually rich and beautiful 
arcades of Transitional character appear in the adjacent 
churches of Hornby and Patrick Brompton, in the first 
case with rounded, in the second with pointed arches, and 
in both cases with very elegant clustered columns, which 
have square abaci and hollow mouldings in their bases. 1 At 
Patrick Brompton the water-flower appears on the capitals 
in two stages of development. But, apart from this, the 
effort of the builders was, not to invent or copy new forms 
of ornament, but to refine familiar forms, such as the chevron 
or the lozenge, to the conditions required by new circum- 
stances. Similarly, the curious and very perplexing north 
arcade at Ingleby Greenhow, if its grotesque heads and con- 
ventional patterns are indeed of this period, is an original, 
if somewhat inartistic, attempt to strike out a new line in 
traditional methods of ornamentation. In one instance, the 
celebrated aisleless church of Nun Monkton, the influence 

1 The middle arch of the three at Hornby is moulded, one half with simple 
chevron, the other with double chevron, or lozenge, ornament. The Hornby 
arcade is a north arcade ; the south arcade is of early fifteenth-century work, 
and is clearly coeval with those at Catterick. At Patrick Brompton the north 
arcade and the eastern arch of the south arcade display the work in question ; 
the eastern arch in the north arcade is much lower than the rest. 


of Archbishop Roger's nave at Ripon is plainly visible : in 
fact, this little chapel of a nunnery is simply a small copy 
of the larger work. The detail here, with the exception 
of that of the west doorway, is unequivocally Gothic. The 
three lancets of the west front, with their banded shafts and 
lining of dog-tooth ; the trefoiled recesses on either side the 
west door ; the trefoils cut in the wall-surfaces between the 
rere-arches of the windows ; the profuse employment of nail- 
head in the unrestored portion of the interior all have a 
richness which gives Nun Monkton an exceptional place 
of its own among Yorkshire churches. The Transitional 
character of the work is fully declared by the tentative 
method by which, while the thick wall is pierced by a con- 
tinuous passage at the level of the window-openings, as 
much as possible of the wall is kept beneath the springing 
of the window-arches, which is carried by dwarf shafts 
superimposed on the larger shafts of the jambs. Exactly 
the same expedient is used at Ripon, and, outside York- 
shire, at Hexham, the sister-church of Ripon. 

Another monastic church which is become parochial, 
Old Malton, has a noble Transitional nave and west front : 
the nave-arches are rounded, with suites of sharp-edged 
mouldings, 1 and the main ornaments of the interior are the 
foliated figures cut in the spandrils of the triforium ; but 
the external details of the south-western tower are far more 
elaborate. Here there is certainly a compromise between 
the plain structural and rich ornamental detail of Transi- 
tional architecture. But, on the whole, Yorkshire work of 
this period avoids the ornamental side. The chancel of 
Sherburn-in-Elmet, already described, is an eminent in- 
stance of successful design pursued with sobriety of detail ; 
and when, at Riccall or at Edlington, we pass through south 

1 The three western bays of the north arcade are a fifteenth-century re- 
building. About the same time the western lancets were ruthlessly destroyed, 
and a segmental-headed five-light window inserted between the outer jambs. 
The upper part of this window was blocked up when the clerestory was taken 
down in the eighteenth century. The south-western tower is not unlike that 
of the priory church of Thurgarton, in Nottinghamshire. 


doorways set thick with rows of sculptured ornament, and 
are confronted with early Transitional arcades of a severe 
plainness, we understand the entire revolution in principle 
which in this district the introduction of Gothic architecture 
implied. In the south and west of England, at Glaston- 
bury or Dore Abbey, in lesser churches like Beverstone in 
Gloucestershire, or Shepton Mallet in Somerset, Gothic 
detail is simply a new kind of richness taking the place 
of an old. In the north, it means an abandonment of 
Norman lavishness for an economy of ornament subordi- 
nated to structural needs an economy, it may be added, 
in which mere saving of expense had no necessary part. 

What has been said of the plainness of Transitional work 
in Yorkshire applies also, so far as the ordinary parish church 
is concerned, to the developed Gothic of the first half of the 
thirteenth century. The greater churches of the county are 
noble schools of early Gothic art. Its birth may be studied 
at Ripon and Selby, 1 Byland and Roche : Fountains and Rie- 
vaulx, in spite of their sparing use of ornament, show us the 
art of Gothic design in its perfection, and, out of simple 
material, create an effect of endless variety ; Whitby, Bever- 
ley and York, in beauty of design and richness of ornament, 
are equalled by few of the great churches of England. The 
choir and transepts of Hedon, a building which, like these 
monastic and collegiate churches, hardly comes within the 
scope of our survey, are the chief example of early thirteenth- 
century architecture among Yorkshire parish churches. Here 
we can see the type of design which, in its highest type, is 
exhibited by the transepts of Beverley, combined with the 
solidity of construction which the architect of Hedon had 
learned doubtless from the church of Grimsby, across the 
Humber, and his contemporaries employed, in the southern 
portion of the diocese of York, at Southwell and Thurgarton. 

1 Selby nave, indeed, may be said without exaggeration to be the finest 
example in England of the progress from Norman to pure Gothic work. Three 
or four different stages are represented of the change in construction ; and the 
influence of this change on ornamental detail can be studied and grasped here 
as in no other single English building. 


Richly moulded arches and foliated capitals are the excep- 
tion in the early Gothic work of the parish churches of the 
county; where sculptured foliage occurs, as at Leake or 
Kirby Sigston, in Allertonshire, it belongs, as a rule, to the 
earliest period of Gothic. For its best manifestation in a 
church of the second or third class, we have to go to a fairly 
large town church like Pocklington, where it is seen beneath 
plainly chamfered arches, and on only one side of the nave. 
No work of the period could be plainer and less indebted 
to decorative effect than the south arcade and doorway of 
another town church, Northallerton. The north arcade at 
Bedale, which offers an interesting problem as to the actual 
date of its building, has foliated capitals of great variety, 
arches whose hollowed edges contain rows of an ornament 
which is a compromise between the Norman pellet and the 
Gothic nail-head, 1 and hood-mouldings with an indented orna- 
ment, the inner angles of which are so deeply incised that 
the prominences take the form of half-nail-heads. The whole 
design, however, with its very acute arches on very slender 
low pillars, is more curious than beautiful ; and it is not un- 
likely that its vagaries may be the outcome of an attempt to 
rival in originality the presumably earlier work in the neigh- 
bouring church at Patrick Brompton. Nail-head occurs, a 
little lower down the Swale valley, in the capitals of the 
south arcade at Ainderby Steeple ; but even nail-head, and 
its immediate derivative, dog-tooth, are by no means usual 
features in Yorkshire churches of this period. The blocked 
doorway in the north wall at Easingwold, with an arch of 
two chamfered orders supported by detached jamb-shafts, is 
without relief of any kind in the shape of arch-mouldings, 
foliated sculpture, or dog-tooth. Here and there rich thir- 
teenth-century doorways occur, of which Bossall in the North 
Riding, Great Driffield and Hessle in the East Riding, and 
the worn outer archway of the porch at Conisbrough in the 
West Riding, are striking examples, reminding us that, at 

1 Pellet-ornament with its curved upper surface worked into a point occurs 
round the lancets of the tower at Old Malton. 


Bridlington, Yorkshire possesses what is perhaps the most 
beautiful thirteenth-century porch in any of the larger 
churches of England. Bossall has already been mentioned 
as an aisleless cruciform church of which the fabric belongs 
almost altogether to this period. But the most complete 
and most exceptional example of a thirteenth-century church 
in Yorkshire is the famous little church at Skelton, four 
miles north of York, where a nave and chancel of equal 
width, with continuous north and south aisles, are united 
under one roof, with a bell-cot over the chancel-arch. Built 
towards the end of the first half of the century, it owes 
something to the earlier example of Nun Monkton; nail- 
head, which, at this date, was usually discarded for dog-tooth, 
appears in the outer and inner string-courses, as at Nun 
Monkton, and in the capitals of the nave-columns, while 
dog-tooth is employed in the arches of the east and west 
windows and in the south doorway. On the whole, the sim- 
plicity and restraint of the work are remarkable ; and the 
interior of the building strikes one as far more simple in 
detail than the interior of Nun Monkton, and clearly sub- 
ordinates everything else to beauty of design. The whole 
decorative energy of the artist was expended on the south 
doorway, which is externally so prominent a feature in the 
composition that it almost eclipses the little building to 
which it belongs. 

The Yorkshire archetypes of the Decorated work of the 
late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries are the naves 
of Bridlington, York, and Beverley, the monastic churches 
of Guisbrough, Easby, and Selby, the collegiate church of 
Howden, and the parish churches of Hull, Hedon, and 
Patrington. The last, even when some of the South Lin- 
colnshire churches are taken into consideration, is probably 
the most beautiful and nearly the most perfect church of its 
age in the whole of England ; while the earlier work at 
Howden stands comparison even with that remarkable work 
of the so-called Geometrical period, the north aisle at Grant- 
ham. In the less exceptional parish churches, we find, as 


in every county of England, large aisled naves of this date 
which have no very striking characteristic other than their 
respectability of proportion. Aldborough, near Borough- 
bridge, a late example, is a case in point : the main beauty 
of its arcades is the excellent profile of their capitals ; their 
main curiosity is the stilting of the outer chamfers of their 
arches. At Alne, not far east of Aldborough, and at Kirkby 
Wiske, on the other side of Thirsk, very plain arcades, which 
are probably rather later than those at Aldborough, have 
their outer chamfers stilted in a more curious manner ; the 
chamfers of one arch intersect with those of the next some 
way above the springing, and the join is masked by a 
straight fillet which is prolonged so as to terminate on the 
abacus of the common capital. The arcades at Darfield, 
near Barnsley, are another instance of plain late work ; here 
the long south aisle, which is common to nave and chancel, 
has window-tracery of a type that almost deserves the often 
misused name of Flamboyant. Of the earlier and purer 
type of Decorated work, before the great masterpieces of the 
fourteenth century were achieved, the south aisle at Bedale, 
and the large north transept, with a western aisle, at Wath- 
on-Dearne, are the best instances that could be quoted : the 
design and workmanship of the latter, which probably be- 
longs to the latest years of the thirteenth century, are beyond 
praise. Foliated capitals of the species that gives the best 
work of the early fourteenth century some of its fame are, 
save at Patrington, not conspicuous. There is a single in- 
stance in the south arcade at Middleton Tyas, in the North 
Riding, flat and spreading in execution, which is strikingly 
like the carved foliage in one or two Lincolnshire churches. 1 
The arcade of the south chapel at Stillingfleet has sculptured 
capitals of about 1340-50, which, with some skill, combine 
some coarseness of workmanship. The whole fabric of 

1 Especially at Branston and Washingborough, in Kesteven, close to 
Lincoln. The south arcade at Sheriff Hutton has carving of the same type, 
but a little later, perhaps, in date. Some of the work at Sheriff Hutton is not 
unlike that at Stillingfleet, and the same date may be given to it. 


Acaster Malbis, on the other side of the Ouse, belongs 
approximately to the middle of the fourteenth century. Its 
beauty is mainly the result of its great simplicity and the 
careful design of the rectangular windows with which it is 
lighted. These have a family likeness to the window-open- 
ings of the large contemporary chancel at Skipwith, not 
many miles distant ; at Skipwith the east window has five 
lights, while at Acaster a much smaller window has seven, 
designed with unimpeachable regard to proportion. 1 The 
plainness of fourteenth-century work, which is so attractive 
at Acaster Malbis, is not always so successful. The church 
at Easingwold, largely of fourteenth-century date, with a 
good east window, and a similar west window obscured by 
the later tower, has arcades whose attenuated chamfered 
orders die away in the piers without the intervention of capi- 
tals. Such work may be boldly treated with success ; 2 but 
at Easingwold the treatment succeeds only in looking 

Fine churches of this date, like that of Bainton, near 
Driffield, are not common, therefore, in Yorkshire. How- 
ever, in a certain number of instances, we find that the 
development of the church-plan has led to the enlargement 
of the chancel, with a result of surprising beauty. In the 
earlier part of the thirteenth century, we find certain in- 
stances in which the multiplication of lancets in the walls 
of a long chancel, without other very noticeable ornament, 
produces a very beautiful effect. 3 West Heslerton, near 

1 Acaster Malbis has two small oblong "low-side" windows, with iron 
bars outside, one on each side of the chancel. "Low-side" windows, which 
are fairly plentiful in Yorkshire, are mainly of interest from the point of view 
of their disputed place in ecclesiastical ritual. The best example, perhaps, in 
Yorkshire, is the plain but beautifully proportioned lancet in the south wall of 
Wensley chancel, which is lengthened to form a window of this type, and the 
lower part divided from the upper by a transverse bar of stone. 

2 As at St. Nicholas, Newcastle, and St. John's in the same town. In 
both cases, however, it is open to the reproach of dulness. Kirby Misperton 
and Harewood are other Yorkshire examples. 

3 Kindred examples are found in other districts of the North e.g. at 
Mitford, near Morpeth, Houghton-le-Spring, and St. Andrew's at Auckland. 
Jesus College Chapel, Cambridge, and Cherry Hinton, near Cambridge, are 


Malton, and Kirk Ella, near Hull, are cases in point ; 
Sherburn-in-Elmet is another on a larger scale. On the 
appearance of the traceried window, the opportunities for 
fresh beauty and even splendour are much increased. 
Sprotbrough, near Doncaster, where the chancel windows 
have very simple geometrical tracery, is an early instance 
of this. Rudston, near Bridlington, shows an advance 
towards the perfected type. Of this the chief examples 
are outside Yorkshire. The spacious chancels, with large 
traceried east windows, elaborate piscinae and sedilia in 
the south wall, the founder's tomb and a permanent stone 
Easter Sepulchre in the north wall, are found chiefly south 
and west of Lincoln ; l and the only Yorkshire member of 
this class is at Patrington, where the chancel is apparently 
later than that of any of the Lincolnshire and Nottingham- 
shire examples. In a certain number of cases, chiefly in 
the neighbourhood of Nottingham, the chancel appears on 
the usual large scale, but without the Easter Sepulchre 
and founder's tomb. At Halsall, in West Lancashire, the 
founder's tomb occurs without the Easter Sepulchre, the 
piscina and sedilia still occupying their normal position 
in the south wall. If there is any line of connection 
between these beautiful chancels and their general simi- 
larity of planning seems to forbid us to disregard the 
possibility Halsall presents the closest analogy to the 
comparatively little-known series of chancels at the foot 

rich instances of the type ; and one of the most beautiful of all, in spite of 
considerable restoration, is at Acton Burnell, near Shrewsbury. 

1 Hawton, Notts, close to Newark, is the finest in detail of these chancels, 
Heckington, near Sleaford, the finest in proportion. The others are Navenby, 
south of Lincoln, and Sibthorpe, south of Newark. Arnold, north of Not- 
tingham, keeps its Easter Sepulchre, but is otherwise much modernised. 
Fledborough, on the Trent north of Newark, is a beautiful fourteenth-century 
church with remains of an Easter Sepulchre. Claypole, between Newark 
and Grantham, with comparatively plain sedilia and Sepulchre, is a rather 
late example of this fine class of chancel ; in detail, it is surpassed by its 
nave, which at once brings Patrington to mind, so similar is the carving of 
the foliage on the capitals. In most of these cases, there has been a chantry- 
chapel or sacristy in close connection with the founder's tomb and the Sepul- 
chre, the entrance to which is usually between the two. This remains entire 
at Heckington, where it has an upper and lower storey. 


of the Swale valley. 1 Patrick Brompton is the most beauti- 
ful of these. Its effect is greatly due to the use of elaborate 
suites of mouldings in the chancel-arch, the arches and jambs 
of the windows, and the trefoiled arch of the tomb-recess 
in the north wall. Crocketed pinnacles rise along the wall- 
surface on either side of the recess: the east window is 
flanked by ogee-headed niches resting on brackets carved 
into the shape of heads ; the niches are crowned by crocketed 
pediments. The sedilia have straight-sided gables with 
crockets and finials ending in heads. A very bold scroll- 
shaped string-course is continued round the whole chancel, 
rising over the sedilia, vestry door, and the entire tomb- 
recess, but keeping below the sills of the windows. The 
east window, of five lights, is a very imposing example of 
the beauty of reticulated design in tracery. In this respect, 
the chancel of Kirkby Wiske falls behind Patrick Brompton, 
with a modern east window : the original window appears 
to have resembled that at Patrick Brompton. Kirkby Wiske 
also has plainer mouldings throughout, and is rather less 
lofty, but in the matter of crocketing and head-sculpture is 
distinctly richer. Ainderby Steeple has fared the worst of 
the three, as an organ-chamber has been made at the point 
in the north wall which ought to be the place of the tomb- 
recess and adjacent chantry-chapel door. If they existed, 
they have been swept away. The chancel here is smaller 
than the other two, and the east window is lower ; but its 
freely flowing tracery, with quatrefoils in the wider inter- 
spaces of the ramifications, is remarkably beautiful. The 
scroll string-course is found here, as at Patrick Brompton and 
Kirkby Wiske ; and so are the niches in the wall on either 
side of the east window. The string-course at Ainderby 
proceeds, at the western corners of the chancel, from the 

1 The best of the Nottingham chancels [without Easter Sepulchres or 
founders' tombs are Car Colston, near Bingham, and Woodborough, between 
Southwell and Nottingham. Sandiacre, between Nottingham and Derby, and 
Dronfield, between Chesterfield and Sheffield, are Derbyshire members of the 
family. Winwick, near Warrington, though rebuilt out of knowledge, bears 
some signs of original kinship with Halsall. 


mouths of grotesque head-stops : the niches are grievously 
mutilated. It is certain that these chancels produced a 
great effect in the neighbourhood, and provoked some 
emulation. The humble church of Great Langton, in a 
meadow above a rapid curve of the Swale, has a three- 
light east window with reticulated tracery and delicately 
executed wave-mouldings ; while Croft-on -Tees, in several 
respects a curious church, has a large and rather bare 
chancel, with coarsely but prodigally carved sedilia and 
piscina, and windows with curvilinear tracery. The but- 
tresses of the walls are the most beautiful feature here. 
Ball-flower, a sign of early fourteenth-century work, 
which does not appear in the chancels of which we have 
been speaking, is used freely at Croft; but the character 
of the rest of the carving is distinctly late. While we 
may attribute the work at Croft to the example of Patrick 
Brompton, it would be difficult to father Patrick Brompton 
on a comparatively unskilled piece of work like Croft, when 
so many beautiful analogies are to be found in parts of 
England that were, in the Middle Ages, chief centres of 
architectural influence. It may be added that at Owston, 
near Doncaster, there is an early fourteenth-century chancel, 
in which the design is allied, though the proportions are 
different, to this stately type; it contains a founder's tomb 
which, like those at Patrick Brompton and Kirkby Wiske, 
was probably used as an Easter Sepulchre instead of a 
separate and permanent receptacle. 1 

The light and beautiful chancel at Skipwith, in the East 
Riding, offers a good instance of development of plan in 

1 This probably was often the case. The chantry-chapel north of the 
chancel at Newark was directed by its founder, early in the sixteenth century, 
to be set up where the Sepulchre was wont to be set up at Easter, and doubt- 
less formed a sort of shrine for the movable Sepulchre. The tomb of Sir 
John Clopton at Long Melford, in Suffolk, north of the chancel, is said to 
have served the same purpose. A movable oak structure at Cowthorpe, in 
Claro wapentake, is usually quoted as a temporary Sepulchre. Permanent 
stone structures, like that at Hawton, were luxuries ; and although orna- 
mented aumbries used for this end are not uncommon, recesses which are 
primarily Easter Sepulchres are rare. 



these later churches. A wide chancel was built at the east 
end, clear of the earlier building; the older chancel was 
then, it would seem, entirely taken down, and the thirteenth- 
century arcades joined to the new chancel by an additional 
bay. No new chancel-arch was constructed, as the aisleless 
chancel is of the same width as the central division of the 
nave. Exactly the opposite thing happened, not very many 
years later, close by, at Bubwith. Here, instead of a chan- 
cel at the east end, a new tower was built at the west end, 
some feet beyond the front of the existing church, which was 
joined to the new work by an additional bay, and the aisles 
were lengthened to match. Enlargements of plan, under- 
taken during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, are to 
be noticed in the majority of Yorkshire churches, although 
the alterations are frequently but slight. We have noticed 
the widening of the south aisle at Sherburn - in - Elmet 
and the subsequent addition of a large chantry-chapel east 
of the porch. The walls of the aisle were raised to admit 
of larger windows, and surrounded with a battlemented 
parapet, enclosing a new roof of very slight pitch. Large 
chantry-chapels, aisles in themselves, open out of the 
south wall at Hickleton and Stillingfleet, their west wall 
forming, in the first case, the east wall of the porch, and 
in the second, stopping short of the porchless south door- 
way. The south aisles at Darfield and Croft-on-Tees 
were built in relation to the chantry-chapels which they 
contained. In Holderness, where there are many instances 
of gradually developing plan, a chantry-chapel has com- 
monly been added to one or both sides of the chancel. 
A few churches on the southern slope of the Wolds throw 
out small transeptal chapels of late Gothic date. The fine 
late thirteenth-century north transept at Wath-on-Dearne 
was evidently intended to provide increased accommoda- 
tion for altars. The later south transeptal chapel at the other 
Wath, near Masham, was the burial-place of the Nortons 
of Norton Conyers : here, too, north of the chancel as in a 
few other Yorkshire instances, is a fifteenth-century sacristy, 


originally of two storeys, with a look-out window into the 
chancel from the upper storey. 1 The Nevilles of Snape 
Castle are buried in the broad south aisle of the church of 
Well, near Wath, where a similar sacristy remains. At 
West Tanfield, in the same neighbourhood, the north aisle 
is occupied by the splendid tombs of the Marmions : the 
north chapel of the chancel at Swine Priory contains the 
hardly less beautiful effigies of the Hiltons. The north 
chapel of the chancel at Harpham in the East Riding was 
the tomb-chapel of the St. Quintins ; at Barnburgh, between 
Rotherham and Doncaster, the tomb-chapel of the Cres- 
acres. 2 A chantry-chapel at the east end of the south aisle 
at Barnburgh is still enclosed by its screen-work : 3 this is 
also the case, for example, in both aisles of the nave at 
Thirsk, and in the chancel chapels at Darton, near Barnsley. 
Occasionally, the aisle chapels, especially in the earlier in- 
stances, are very narrow ; there is an instance of this at 
Terrington, near Castle Howard, where the chapel opening 
from the south wall of the nave forms a tiny aisle of only a 
few feet in projection from the main building. At Owston, 
near Doncaster, they are broad in proportion to the rest 
of the church ; and, to give more room to the chapel at the 
end of the north aisle, the eastern part of the north wall has 
been thrust out in a transept-like projection. In cases like 
West Tanfield 4 or Ledsham, near Pontefract, the addition 
of a north aisle and chancel-chapel enlarges the church to 
nearly twice its size, so that at Ledsham, we have, as it 

1 There are similar sacristies at Romaldkirk in Teesdale, and at Roos in 
Holderness. Vaulted sacristies occur at West Gilling and at Grinton in 

" The south chapel at Methley, the burial-place of the Watertons, with its 
stone screen, is a further example fiom the West Riding. 

3 At Croft-on-Tees almost the whole south aisle is enclosed by screen- 
work. Similarly, at Hungarton in Leicestershire the south aisle was the 
chapel belonging to Quenby Hall ; and at Stratton Strawless in Norfolk a 
south aisle is thus enclosed. Mr. Bodley has placed screen-work round the 
south aisle at Hickleton. 

4 West Tanfield possesses a curious and unique feature in the small rect- 
angular chamber which is hollowed out in the fragment of wall between the 
north chapel and the chancel-arch. This recess has small openings towards 



were, two aisleless churches of rectangular plan, one of the 
eleventh and twelfth, the other of the fourteenth, century, 
connected by a common arcade. But two of the best ex- 
amples of gradual development of plan on a large scale are 
to be found near Doncaster, at Arksey and Campsall. The 
stages of development at Arksey are fairly clear, as many 
indications of the early plan have been left. The nucleus of 
the building was a twelfth-century cross-church, probably 

SuU of feet. 


aisleless, with a central tower. The crossing seems to have 
been remodelled, and aisles added to the nave, during the 
later years of the twelfth century : the arches and clustered 
shafts, supporting the tower are beautiful work of this date. 
At the same time the aisleless chancel was rebuilt and length- 
ened. The first addition to the church thus enlarged was the 
narrow chapel to the north of the chancel, the east window 
of which fixes its date at the end of the thirteenth or the 

the chancel in its east and south walls. The usual explanation of a "con- 
fessional " has been suggested : is it not more likely to have been a small 
anker-hold, with openings to allow of the occupant joining in the services of 
altar and choir? A "low-side" window at Tanfield is pierced in a projection 
of the south wall of the nave. 


very beginning of the fourteenth century. The north wall 
of the chancel was left, above the arcade, much in its former 
condition, and blocked portions of the window-openings 
encroached upon by the new arches were left in position. 
During the fifteenth century, both aisles were widened, so as 
to absorb a large part of the west wall of the north and most 
of the west wall of the south transept, into the interior of the 
building. These walls were left in much the same condi- 
tion as the north wall of the chancel ; and that at the end of 
the north aisle was left untouched. Last of all, the very 
broad south chapel was added to the chancel about the 
beginning of the sixteenth century. The south wall of this 
chapel is set out in a line with the south front of the adja- 
cent transept : an arcade of two bays is pierced in the south 
chancel-wall ; but the eastern part of this wall, south of the 
altar, was retained without piercing. This latest chapel 
projects farther east than the chancel itself, while the opposite 
and smaller chapel ends west of the sanctuary; the plan of 
the east end of the church is thus highly irregular and un- 
usual. The later builders seem to have thought that their 
larger windows compensated for the light of which they 
deprived the chancel. It is interesting to find a church, 
in which, with so many additions, so much of the original 
elevation has been preserved. The considerations which 
suggested the various enlargements after the twelfth 
century must have been purely utilitarian ; for these en- 
largements were carried out just so far as was thought 
necessary, and with as little rebuilding as possible. 1 

The nucleus of Campsall is also an aisleless cross- 
church, some of the rubble masonry of which remains 
above the arcades of the nave. This early church, which 
may or may not have had a central tower, was remodelled 

1 An instance, outside Yorkshire, of this kind of building on a larger scale 
is St. Mary's at Shrewsbury, where, when the enormous south chapel was 
added to the chancel, a large portion of the walls of the transept and chancel 
which it enclosed were left untouched. Cf. also the way in which, at Lich- 
field and Hereford Cathedrals, portions of the outer wall have been left, when 
chapels have been added, as internal dividing walls. 


towards the end, approximately, of the third quarter of 
the twelfth century. The arch at the east end of the 
south aisle is of very late Norman work, and cuts into 
an earlier window in the west wall of the transept which 
it pierces. If there was a regular crossing, it was thrown 
into the nave by the removal of its western arch ; the 
three other arches, leading into the transepts and the 
chancel, were rebuilt, and the fine western tower with 
its elaborate western entrance was added. This tower, 


of three stages, has at the top on each side an arcade of 
five divisions, four of which are pierced and the central 
one left blank. Here we have a rich variation on the 
design at Brayton or Riccall, where late Saxon traditions 
are preserved in Transitional towers. Unlike the tower 
of Riccall, however, where in the course of years the 
unpierced north and south walls became enclosed in 
aisles, and like Sherburn-in-Elmet, the Campsall tower 
was engaged from the first. To complete this beautiful 
church, the chancel, in all probability, was entirely rebuilt 
and enlarged ; most of its fabric is of this period, with 
flat pilaster buttresses, and keeps one of its windows. 



In the course of the next century, the internal arrange- 
ments of this large chancel were somewhat altered; and 
later Gothic windows were inserted at various times in 
its walls. Not until the later part of the fourteenth cen- 
tury were the aisles and arcades of the nave rebuilt. The 
south doorway, though rather earlier, to judge by some 
of its details, may be of the same date as this rebuilding ; 
it has a very peculiar form, that of a shouldered arch, and 
its hollow mouldings are filled with four-leaved flower orna- 
ment. It is covered by a porch with a pointed barrel-vault 
supported by transverse ribs. 1 Probably, the outer walls 
of the aisles were repaired and heightened in the fifteenth 
century. The windows of these aisles are mostly late in 
character; and the west end of the south aisle, with its 
vaulted baptistery and chamber above, is certainly of this 
date, in common with a great part of the adjacent wall. 
Traces of the original plan have been masked more effectu- 
ally at Campsall than at Arksey ; but enough remains to 
enable the history of the plan to be followed out with 
some approach to certainty. 2 

It would be tempting to pursue the course which we 
have taken with respect to Arksey and Campsall in the 
case of churches like Fishlake, Snaith, or Sandal Magna, 
where the original fabric has been much enlarged as time 
has gone on. In the majority of cases, it will be found 
that the ordinary large parish church has a spacious but 
aisleless chancel, broad aisles to the nave, and a western 
tower standing clear of the aisles. This is the plan at 

1 This type of porch, usually with a triangular slabbed roof supported on 
transverse pointed arches (cf. the south transept at Minchinhampton, Glou- 
cestershire, the little north transept at Croscombe, Somerset, the sacristy at 
Willingham, Cambs, &c.) was popular in the neighbourhood of Doncaster. 
It appears again at Edlington, Hickleton, Owston, Wath-on-Uearne, and in 
other places. 

* North Cave, in the East Riding, is another cross-plan with a western 
tower instead of one over the crossing. Old Clee in Lincolnshire, the early 
plan of Newark, and Condover in Shropshire, seem, although they have 
cross arms of equal height, to have been planned with no reference to a 


which, in the fourteenth century, Aldborough, Patrick 
Brompton, and Kirkby Wiske, to mention only three 
churches, arrive. In the last two cases, there was a small 
north chantry-chapel connected with the founder's tomb; 
but this was walled off from the chancel, forming no in- 
tegral portion of the plan. Hackness, Kirklington, Wensley, 
and Masham are more examples from the North Riding; 
Bainton, Nafferton, and Settrington are from the East 
Riding; Anston, Brayton, Penistone, and Spotbrough are 
typical examples from the West Riding. On the other 
hand, we have seen the aisled chancel developing at Arksey 
until it almost swallows the transepts. What was threatened 
at Arksey took place at Wakefield, where the present 
cathedral, an aisleless cruciform church to begin with, 
became, by successive enlargements, a huge oblong, with 
aisles stretching the whole length of nave and chancel. 1 
Catterick, which was built about 1412, the date of the 
existing contract for its erection, was planned with chancel 

Tickhill is the only parish church in the county which, 
almost entirely rebuilt in the earlier part of the fifteenth 
century, included an eastern Lady Chapel and transverse 
ambulatory besides chancel-aisles. The plan is widely 
divergent from the ordinary type in the north and east 
of England, and is more nearly akin to that of St. Mary 
Redcliffe at Bristol, or of Crediton and Ottery St. Mary. 

1 A series of sketch plans of Wakefield Cathedral, showing the successive 
development of its parts, was published to illustrate the visit of the York- 
shire Archaeological Society in 1905. It is needless to remark that, though 
a cathedral church by force of circumstance, Wakefield was, until the recent 
additions, an exemplar of the large town parish church, like Halifax or Chester- 
field. The collegiate church of Hemingbrough is another study in the de- 
velopment of the aisled chancel-plan. Hatfield and Sheriff Hutton, among 
the larger village churches, are other cases of the development of the chancel - 
aisles on the plan. The plan of Pickering Church is a useful instance of the 
growth of chantry-chapels round a normal aisleless chancel, rebuilt early in 
the fourteenth century. Instances like Wakefield, where a cruciform church 
has been absorbed in an aisled rectangle, are not always easy to trace : Marsh- 
field, in Gloucestershire, near Bath, is a good instance, where the transept- 
arches have been blocked up and left in masses of wall between the body of 
the church and the aisles. 


Wakefield, on the other hand, belongs to the type of the 
York churches, or Louth, Newark, and Grantham. Neither 
the plan of Wakefield nor of Tickhill is one which we 
expect to find in village churches. To these the plan with 
the aisleless chancel, which, among the larger churches, 
is found at Thirsk, is more appropriate. Laughton-en-le- 
Morthen, in the early period of what is known as Perpendi- 
cular work, and Bolton Percy, which belongs to the period 
of its perfection, show us this kind of plan in its full 

Fifteenth-century architecture is plentiful in Yorkshire, 
but its effect is usually very cold and plain. Catterick, for 
a church whose history has been so carefully preserved, is 
disappointing ; apart from a few tombs, it is one of those 
buildings which tempt one to reflect on the poorness and 
want of invention inherent in much Perpendicular archi- 
tecture. In the western and northern parts of the county, 
we frequently meet with a plain type of three-light window, 
with an obtusely-pointed head, and straight mullions dividing 
the lights ; the ramifications which spring from the upper 
part of each mullion, and form the heads of the lights, are 
straight, and only coarse cusping on their under-sides re- 
lieves the angular effect thus produced. This species 
belongs chiefly to Northallerton and the neighbourhood, 
but it occurs, built in the same dark yellow stone, as far 
south as Silkstone. Noble windows, like the west window 
at Tickhill, are rare, though Fishlake has one fully as 
fine. 1 On the whole, of all the fifteenth-century churches 
in the county, Thirsk is the most satisfactory. 2 Its hand- 
some western tower, its beautiful arcades, with well-moulded 
pointed arches and columns of four clustered shafts, its 

1 To these may be added the east window at Patrington, the south tran- 
sept window at Hemingbrough, and a few more. 

* Hardly less satisfactory, as a small village church, than Thirsk is Whenby, 
near Sheriff Hutton, probably built in the last years of the fourteenth century. 
The detail is plain, but exceedingly good ; there is a good tower, and a south 
porch with two-light windows in each of its sides. There is only a north aisle, 
continued eastwards into a chancel chapel. 


broad aisles, with their screened-off chapels, its adequate 
aisle-windows, its bright clerestory, which lights up the 
rich carving of the roof, and its remains of old glass, place it 
high in the first rank among English churches of its date. 1 
Here the inferiority of Catterick is redeemed ; and we feel, 
as we feel in many of the churches of East Anglia or 
Somerset, Long Melford, Lavenham, Sail, Walpole St. 
Peter, or Yatton, that the architecture of the fifteenth 
century, even when deprived of those accessories of furni- 
ture which were so important to it, surpasses that of earlier 
centuries in beauty of planning and design, and can, at 
its best, equal its predecessors in carefulness of detail. 
The chancel of Bolton Percy is a conspicuous instance of 
magnificent planning, and the same may be said of Skir- 
laugh. Skirlaugh, however, suffers from monotony of 
detail, and from the loss of the stained-glass which was 
intended to supply half its beauty ; in such a case, measure 
ment alone can awaken a proper degree of admiration. 
Detail at Bolton Percy is richer, and colour is given to 
the chancel by the restored east window, with its five great 
figures of archbishops and their coats-of-arms below; but 
the absence of a clerestory from the nave spoils the general 
effect, and, as at Kirkby Wiske in the preceding period, 
the nave is little more than a large but unpretentious vesti- 
bule to a splendid chancel. 

Clerestories are by no means invariably found in 
Yorkshire naves of this date. They occur, as a rule, as 
additions to the churches of Holderness, and at Tickhill 
and Thirsk they are conspicuous features. As a rule, they 

1 There is a crypt-chapel below the chancel at Thirsk. Another at Bedale 
is due to the same cause, the rapid fall of the ground at the east end, which is 
responsible, again, for the crypt-like vestries and the chamber below the Lady 
Chapel at St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. Other Yorkshire crypts are the famous 
Norman crypt at Lastingham, and a later crypt at Hornsea. In both cases 
the ground falls at the back of the church. The space below the modern 
quasi-chancel at Upholland, Lancashire, has been used for vestries ; and in 
modern work, as at Truro Cathedral or the new parish church at Stoke 
Damerel, near Devonport, a fall in the ground has been utilised in the 
same way. 


have small openings, which give insufficient light to the 
roofs. Harewood, which is mostly of the fifteenth century, 
has no clerestory to its plain nave; and often, as at Hickle- 
ton, the restorers added large windows to the aisles without 
troubling about the clerestory. Arksey has no clerestory, 
and the internal proportions of the three broad but not very 
long divisions of the nave are much injured thereby, and 
the light excluded. Campsall, on the other hand, owes 
an immense amount of the light and grace of its interior 
to its clerestory, although, outside, as is so often the case, 
the clerestory is too high for the western tower. But even 
this awkwardness is better than the external appearance, 
at Sandal Magna, of a nave and aisles, forming three nearly 
equal divisions, whose roofs have been considerably flat- 
tened, and additional height given thereby to a tall central 
tower. In the interior, the great height of the arcades, 
which are of fourteenth-century character, 1 goes far to 
compensate for the absence ot a clerestory. To those who 
estimate rightly the importance of planning in churches 
of this period, and the dependence of the elevation on the 
conditions of the plan, a church like Darton, between 
Barnsley and Wakefield, will appeal. This is a thoroughly 
adequate parish church, with aisles and chancel chapels, 
in which excellence of woodwork and glasswork remedied 
the plainness, now a little too apparent, of stonework. 

A few miles west of Darton, at Silkstone, a church of 
various dates, with aisles and large chancel chapels, was 
cased with fifteenth-century walling of a coarse, but very 
elaborate kind. Parapets with grotesque gargoyle-heads 
were added all round the church, a new western tower 
was built, and the buttresses of the aisle walls were re- 
inforced, on the outer edges of their offsets, by pinnacles 
which were connected with the upper parts of the buttresses 
by small flying-arches. The same method of buttress- 
ing occurs, among other instances, at South Kirkby, near 

1 The heightened fourteenth-century arcades at Wakefield Cathedral 
evidently had no little influence at Sandal. 


Wakefield, and at Halifax parish church. Another fine 
church, not many miles distant, and practically rebuilt in 
this period, is the large cross-church of Ecclesfield, with 
its rich parapets and high central tower ; its position on the 
slope of a hill above the village adds greatly to its dignity, 
but, in spite of good screen-work, the interior of the build- 
ing stands in need of its mediaeval glass and furniture. In 
churches of this kind, the absolute necessity for such adorn- 
ments is rightly felt; it was with a view to screen-work, 
stall-work, and glasswork that they were planned, and the 
loss of such adjuncts cannot sufficiently be deplored. Large 
fragments of mediaeval glass occur all over the county, espe- 
cially round York ; l and there is a fair amount of screen- 
work, especially in the West Riding. 2 Silkstone has a 
beautiful screen, but the loft has gone. The loft remains 
in the little chapel of Hubberholme, in Upper Wharfedale, 
remote from the destructive zeal of the later ^sixteenth 
century ; 3 and the East Riding examples of Winestead 

1 The following churches in which are remains of glass should be noticed : 
NORTH RIDING : Coxwold, Easby, Finghall, Grinton, Guisbrough, Haux- 
well, Ingleby Arncliffe, Kirby Sigston, Marrick, Oswaldkirk, Raskelf, Red- 
mire, Sutton-on-the- Forest, Tanfield, Thirsk, Well, Wycliffe. EAST RIDING : 
Eastrington, Ellerton, Folkton, Holme-on-the-Wolds, Leconfield, Lock- 
ington, Paull, Settrington, Thorpe Bassett, Walkington, Wilberfoss, Win- 
tringham. WEST RIDING : Acaster Malbis, Bolton Percy, Calverley, Darton, 
Denton, Elland, Emley, Harewood, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Kildwick, High 
Melton (fine fourteenth century), Methley, Nether Poppleton, Thornhill, 
Thrybergh, Wistow, Woolley, and Wragby (late Flemish). The wonderful 
wealth of glass in York need only be alluded to in passing. 

2 Rood-screens, beside those mentioned in the text, occur, in whole or part, 
sometimes with parclose-screens, at the following places: NORTH RIDING: 
Bulmer, Crayke, Romaldkirk, Seamer, Wensley, Whenby. EAST RIDING : 
Lockington, Patrington, Skipwith, Sutton-on-Hull, Swine, Watton,. Wei- 
wick. WEST RIDING: Barnby Don, Bingley, Burnsall, Cantley, Ecclesfield, 
Fishlake, Hatfield, Kildwick, Owston, Ripley, Skipton, Sprotbrough, Wragby. 
Other remains of screen-work exist at : NORTH RIDING : Bedale. Croft-on- 
Tees, Easby (near Richmond), Grinton, Hornby (with good diaper-painting 
on inner panels), Thirsk. EAST RIDING: Garton-in-Holderness, Heming- 
hrough, Kirk Ella, Wintringham. WEST RIDING : Barnburgh, Bradfield, 
Darton, Edlington, Sandal Magna, Slaidburn, Thorner. These lists are not 
exhaustive : see Cox and Harvey, op. cit., pp. 140-4.3. The wall-paintings at 
Kasby and Pickering, invaluable aids to the colour of a church interior, 
should also be remembered. 

3 Rood-lofts are most frequently found in places difficult of access, like 
Llanelieu, Llanegryn, Llananno, and Patricio, all in various districts of 
Wales, or Blackawton in Devonshire, or Coates-l>y-Stow in Lincolnshire. 


and Flamborough, the latter in a fragile and imperfect 
condition, but keeping its colour, must not be forgotten. 
Screen-work from Jervaulx and Easby Abbeys is preserved 
at Aysgarth and Wensley ; the screen at Campsall, remark- 
able for its curious inscription, is popularly said to have 
been removed from Wallingwells Priory, near Worksop. 
The stall-work at Richmond came from Easby Abbey ; but 
the stalls at Wensley and Hemingbrough are indigenous 
work, and point to a collegiate foundation at the latter 
place, and, at the former, to an attempt at such a 

This is the place to speak of towers and spires. Of 
spires not very many examples remain. Laugh ton-en-le- 
Morthen is incomparably the finest of these, a splendid 
spire, which challenges comparison with Lincolnshire spires 
of the type of Billingborough, Brant Broughton, or Cay- 
thorpe. There is a central stone spire at Hemingbrough, 
absurdly out of proportion to its low tower. It is impos- 
sible to refer to Yorkshire spires without mentioning the 
spire of Rotherham, a stately crown to a town church 
which is the beau ideal of a fifteenth-century cross-plan. 
The central spire of Patrington is famous for the open 
octagon from inside which it springs; it is well propor- 
tioned to the tower below, but the effect is spoiled by 
the feeble little flying-buttresses and the pinnacles which 
meet them. The pinnacles have no obvious interest in 
the tower below, and seem to be kept in equilibrium merely 
by the straddling spread of their feet. An octagon occurs 
between the tower and spire at Brayton and Masham ; in 
both cases the earlier towers were planned to receive a lighter 
capping, and look uncomfortable beneath the weight. 1 The 

1 Bempton, in the East Riding, and All Saints'. Pontefract, mentioned 
below, have octagons on square towers. All Saints', Pavement, at York, 
is a famous church with an octagon lantern on its tower ; and two other 
York churches have octagonal turrets over their west gable. Coxwold and 
Sancton, near Market Weighton, have towers which are octagonal from the 


tower at Arksey has a good broach-spire of stone, and there 
is a picturesque little broach-spire at Womersley. Middle- 
ton Tyas, in the North Riding, has a fairly early broach- 
spire of timber and lead. Two fine spires of Lincolnshire 
rather than Yorkshire character occur near Patrington, the 
broach-spires of Keyingham and Ottringham. A com- 
promise between the tower and spire exists at Barnburgh, 
where a magnificent upper storey, added in the later part 
of the fourteenth century to a Norman tower, has a stone 
pinnacle in the centre, higher than those at the angles. 1 
Conisbrough and Darfield have towers with upper storeys 
which were probably imitated one from the other ; at Dar- 
field, though the tower is not noticeably oblong, the east 
and west sides have double windows, though there is only 
one on the north and south. This is an ugly peculiarity 
with no original merit, and towers like Penistone or Darton, 
where there is only a single window in each face, and the 
only effort apparent is directed to the attainment of suffi- 
cient height, are infinitely more satisfactory. Among the 
rest of the West Riding towers, Fishlake and Tickhill, 2 
engaged within their aisles, are pre-eminent, but other 
instances which call for mention are the upper storey of 
Sprotbrough, bearing a certain family likeness to Barn- 
burgh ; the high tower, hidden in the folds of the hills, 
of Kirkby Malham, a large fifteenth-century church with 
late and coarse detail; and, though here we trespass on 
the limits of the town church, the central octagon at All 
Saints', Pontefract, which, in its position and relation to 

1 Upton, Notts, near Southwell, has a similar but less elaborate arrange- 
ment of pinnacles. 

2 Tickhill was supposed by Sir Gilbert Scott to have supplied the model 
for the engaged tower at Newark, and so, in turn, to Grantham. The tower 
has a beautiful fifteenth-century upper storey, with a parapet like that of the 
neighbouring church of Blyth in Notts, raised on a lofty, late twelfth-century 
substructure. Tickhill is not, of course, the prototype of all engaged towers. 
Sherburn-in-Elmet and Campsall were planned earlier to open into aisles as 
well as nave. At Bishop Wilton and Burton Pidsea the tower is not merely 
engaged, but built up on independent supports within the nave (cf. St. Mary's, 
Leicester). The same thing is seen on a small scale in the aisleless nave of 
Nun Monkton. 


the square tower below, recalls the general outline of that 
of St. Ouen at Rouen. 

Outside the West Riding, the three great central towers 
of South Yorkshire, Howden, Hull, and Hedon, stand far 
above the rest ; but Cottingham, which belongs to the same 
class of work, is not far behind them, with long double 
belfry windows, of noble simplicity of detail. Next to these 
is the late fourteenth-century tower at Northallerton, the 
only drawback to which lies in its attempt to minimise the 
value of the angle-buttresses. After this come the western 
towers of Pocklington and Driffield, which are more effective 
than the tower at Thirsk, which is handsome mainly by virtue 
of its proportion to the church behind. Of purely village 
church towers none is better than Nafferton, near Driffield, 
which harmonises excellently with the clerestory of the nave. 
Catterick, Bolton-on-Swale, Danby Wiske, and one or two 
other North Riding towers have lofty lower stages with 
ribbed vaulting. This is probably a survival of the vaulted 
lower storeys of towers like Melsonby, near the Tees, which 
evidently received vaults for the sake of defence in the time 
of strife; 1 for they form no part of buildings remarkable 
for elaborateness of detail. The large tower at Bedale has 
a vaulted lower storey, and the arrangements of the stair- 
case and first floor prove that it was intended to serve the 
purpose, on occasion, of what is inaccurately known as a 
" pele-tower." At Spennithorne a more or less military 
appearance is given to the tower by the addition of stone 
" defenders " to the battlements ; these, however, are there 
simply for the sake of ornament, as no foe could ever have 
been frightened by the sight of figures in a place where no 
soldier in his senses would have thought of taking up his 
position. Sometimes, as at Hutton Rudby in Cleveland, at 

1 Cf. the tower at Whickham, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, with its pointed 
barrel-vault. The church-tower of Llywel, Rreconshire, at the head of the 
important pass into Carmarthenshire, has a barrel-vaulted lower storey, and, 
like several towers in the neighbourhood (Devynock, Llanfair-ar-y-Bryn, and 
Brecon Priory) is battlemented heavily, and has a large rectangular corner- 


Croft-on-Tees, at Barmston, in Holderness, and at Cawood, 
on the Ouse, the tower has been built at the west end 
of an aisle ; but this is very exceptional. 1 

Of work undertaken after the Reformation period there 
are many indications, but few important remains. Although 
outside the category of village churches, St. John's, Leeds, 
should not be forgotten as a magnificent example of a parish 
church which, built at the time of the Laudian revival, keeps 
its original furniture of that date. Its only serious rival 
in England is Croscombe, in Somerset, which, however, 
is an earlier fabric containing later furniture. Three or 
four village churches were built in the middle of the seven- 
teenth century; thus, in 1651, Bishop Tilson, of Elphin, 
who ministered during the Commonwealth at Cumberworth, 
consecrated the chapel of Meltham, which remains sand- 
wiched in between a tower of 1835 and a more recent 
chancel. 2 At Stonegrave there is a beautiful Jacobean 

1 Churches with spires of mediaeval origin, other than those that have 
been mentioned, are : NORTH RIDING : Brompton (in Pickering Lythe), 
Burneston, Malton St. Leonard (lead), Pickering. EAST RIDING : Bishop 
Wilton, Ganton, Hessle, Huggate, Kirby Grindalyth, Rillington, Wintring- 
ham. WEST RIDING : Aberford, Acaster Malbis (timber spirelet), Anston, 
Annthorpe, Bramham, Drax, Ledsham (lead), Methley, Thrybergh, Wake- 
field Cathedral, Wath-on-Dearne, Whitkirk. 

To enumerate the late Gothic towers of Yorkshire would be a long and 
superfluous task. These, however, should be specially noticed : The fine 
tower at Bubwith, on the Derwent ; Bolton-by-Bowland, on the Ribble ; 
Bolton Percy; Catterick ; Danby, in Cleveland (S.W.) ; Ecclesfield (central) ; 
Gargrave, in Craven ; Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, a fine tower in a good 
situation; Harewood ; Haworth, near Bradford; Kildwick, in Craven ; Kirk 
Fenton, between York and Pontefract (central) ; South Kirkby, near Wake- 
field ; the curious little S.W. tower at Marton-on-the- Forest, in Bulmer 
wapentake ; High Melton ; Osmotherley ; Preston, in Holderness ; Set- 
trington, near Malton ; West Tanfield ; Thornton Watlass, near Bedale, 
provided with a fireplace on the first floor, probably against a siege. The 
octagonal towers at Coxwold and Sancton have already been noted. 

2 Other seventeenth-century chapels are at Carlton Husthwaite, in Bird- 
forth wapentake ; Fewston, between Wharfedale and Nidderdale ; Upper 
Midhope, near Penistone. The fabrics of dale-chapels, like Lunds or Stal- 
lingbusk, in the North Riding, may have been rebuilt at this period ; on the 
other hand, they may be mediaeval work by local masons who were more used 
to building farmhouses and barns. The chancel at Dalby, in Bulmer wapen- 
take, the nave of which is Norman, has a very solid barrel-vault and high 
battlements round a flat roof: the details seem to indicate that this was a 
freak of some seventeenth-century restorer. 


chancel-screen, amid other furniture of the period ; Arksey 
and the very late Gothic church at Crayke, that southern 
enclave of the bishopric of Durham, have a large number 
of early seventeenth-century pews, with knobs projecting 
from the top surface of the corners. Curious Tudor 
bench-ends with grotesque heads, which are probably 
symbolical, survive at Sprotbrough, which, in its so-called 
" frith-stool," a stone chair with early fourteenth-century 
carving, possesses a valuable piece of mediaeval furniture. 
Huntington, near York, and Hutton Rudby, in Cleveland, 
are two of a number of churches that possess fine post- 
Reformation pulpits. But, beyond the church at Leeds, 
and the beautiful chancel-screen at Wakefield, Yorkshire 
has little furniture that can compare with the woodwork 
of the Restoration period that fills the churches of Eagles- 
cliffe and Brancepeth in the neighbouring county of Durham, 
that is so prominent at Sedgefield, and, at Durham and in 
the castle chapel at Bishop Auckland, shows such exquisite 
taste in the blending of Gothic with Renaissance forms. 1 

The effect of eighteenth-century restoration on the 
fabrics of Cleveland was commented on at the beginning 
of this article. Great insistence is now made on the evil 
of restoring away the work of eighteenth-century builders 
and carpenters ; and, with all due disrespect for the anti- 
mediaeval sentiment which often adds point to modern 
complaints on this score, it must be admitted that their 
work has its beauties, and has been succeeded, in ninety- 
nine cases out of a hundred, by a laboured imitation 
of Gothic stonework, filled with furniture for which it is 
vain to find a mediaeval prototype. An upright board, 
grained and varnished, with bevelled upper corners, a quatre- 
foil pierced in the centre near the top, and umbrella-holders 
of twisted brass in the middle, bears no resemblance to a 
mediaeval bench-end, and is no more useful and certainly 

1 There is Jacobean woodwork at Great Mitton, close to the Lancashire 
church of Whalley, which is a museum of woodwork of the late Gothic, 
Renaissance, and Queen Anne periods. 



less beautiful than the ordinary square pew-end of an earlier 
day. Coxwold Church offered, till the other day, a most 
interesting spectacle a fifteenth-century aisleless church, 
with handsome external detail and a great many fragments 
of old glass in the windows, filled with eighteenth-century 
furniture such as that which, after a period of neglect, has 
been swept out of hundreds and thousands of our old parish 
churches. 1 Although this may be replaced with excellent 
modern furniture, more beautiful by far than the type de- 
scribed above, its removal breaks a link in the continuity 
of history and architecture alike. Our churches are not 
dead monuments of the Middle Ages: they have adapted 
themselves to the needs of many generations, and, in 
adapting them to our own needs, we should be careful to 
preserve, where we can, the traces which our forefathers 
have left. Even when mediaeval building was a live art, 
the builders of Arksey, in their wholesale alterations, left 
the story of their work to be read by after-ages. We our- 
selves too often treat the post-Reformation period as though 
it were a shameful part of history ; and even, in restoring 
our churches to their " original " condition, assume that 
" original " condition to partake of the characteristics of 
early thirteenth-century architecture. We may hope that 
it will be long before an architect will be found who will 
strip Whitby Church of its highly curious furniture. Some 
monuments of the Georgian period at least may be suffered 
to remain. The work of restoration, however, is not always 
evil. Mr. Bodley's restorations at Hickleton and Womersley, 
founded on sound scholarship and remarkable intuition, 2 have 

1 The great family pew, approached by a high flight of stairs, that fills 
up a bay of the north arcade at Croft-on-Tees, and contrasts oddly with the 
mediaeval screen-work of the opposite aisle, is probably the most perfect relic 
of eighteenth-century church furniture in Yorkshire. 

2 His restoration of the rood against the wall above the chancel-arch at 
Hickleton is an instance of accurate divination, which was confirmed by traces 
of ancient work, and prevented the obscuring of the details of the arch. 
Similar intuition, fully borne out by further investigation, was shown by the 
same architect in restoring the west window at Brant Broughton, and in 
advising the removal of the chancel -arch at Laughton, both in Lincolnshire. 


given those churches an unquestionable beauty in keep- 
ing with the periods to which they, for the most part, 
belong. Mr. Comper's work at Cantley, near Doncaster, 
is elaborately true to mediaeval precedent. In the churches 
of the Wolds, we can study, side by side, the work of more 
than one well-known church architect who has gone to his 
work of restoration with a highly developed sense of beauty, 
and of reverence for the building he has had to handle. 1 

Among complete rebuildings, the Wold churches of 
West Lutton, Helperthorpe, Fimber, and East Heslerton 
may be taken as favourable examples of the Gothic revival 
at its height ; Dalton Holme, north of Beverley, as an even 
more elaborate if less successful instance of the same 
type ; and some of the churches near Thirsk as plainer 
examples of the work of men famous in the history of the 
revival. Burgess's twin churches at Studley Royal and at 
Skelton, near Boroughbridge, are famous buildings, rival- 
ling in the costliness of their materials the even more 
famous church at Bodelwyddan in Flintshire. And, 
finally, latest and best among these country churches 
which the liberality of the past half-century has devoted 
to the service of God is the large and beautiful church of 
Sledmere, with its fine stone-carving and cool, bright, 
stained-glass. Whatever our descendants, in the eternal 
revolution of taste, may think of these works of our own 
day, it cannot be denied that they represent an upward 
progress from those rectangular monuments with towers 
at the west end, which, copying at a long distance models 
like Skirlaugh or the college chapels of Oxford or Cam- 
bridge, decorated our towns during the thirties and forties 
of the nineteenth century. 2 These remnants of the past, 

1 The restorations of Goodmanham, Kirby Sigston, and several other 
churches in the East and North Ridings, by Mr. Temple Moore, the archi- 
tect of Sledmere, are recent work which call for special mention. 

2 In the modern deanery of Huddersfield alone, out of forty-six churches, 
eighteen are modern Gothic examples, built between 1815 and 1850. There 
are three mediaeval churches in the deanery. Probably, round Halifax and 
Dewsbury, the proportion is even greater ; and an ecclesiological tour of the 


gaunt and stained with smoke, clustering along the valleys 
of the Aire, Calder, Colne, and Don, have done and are 
doing honourable service in the fulfilment of their chief 
purpose; but when we reflect on the admiration with 
which their completion was greeted, as the triumph of 
revived Gothic art, they stand as memorials to warn us 
against trusting too much in the finality of our own taste 
in such matters, and against destroying the work of the 
past to replace it by work which, with an equally light- 
hearted contempt, the next generation will unhesitatingly 

churches near Saddleworth station, in Yorkshire but in the diocese of Man- 
chester, will reveal some interesting work of the Gothic revival. It is far 
from the present writer's mind to set a disproportionate value on the aesthetic 
element in church architecture ; but it must be owned that the architects 
of the period between the dilettantism of Strawberry Hill and the sanctified 
ecclesiology of the Oxford Movement period had very little idea of what 
Archbishop Laud rightly called " the beauty of holiness." 



IT may seem presumptuous that one who cannot claim 
in any sense to be a Yorkshireman should take upon 
himself the task of writing a comprehensive article 
on any subject connected with that great county. It is 
no easy matter to endeavour to deal at all exhaustively 
with even such a familiar and commonplace subject, as 
most people would imagine a description of the Norman 
doorways to be ; but when we come to consider the large 
number which still remain, the remote and secluded dis- 
tricts in which many of the most interesting are to be 
found, the varied and extremely puzzling details of some 
of the finer examples, the task is not so simple as might 
at first sight appear. Some few, such as those at Adel, 
and St. Margaret's Walmgate, York, are well known, and 
brief notices of many others appear in various archi- 
tectural and topographical works dealing with the several 
portions of the county, and photographs are also obtain- 
able ; but, speaking generally, the information to be pro- 
cured of these specimens of the care and skill of the early 
masons is, in Yorkshire as in other counties, extremely 
meagre, and it is hoped, therefore, that this article may 
do something to elucidate a subject not hitherto attempted. 
During a period of nearly forty years the writer has made 
many excursions in Yorkshire, and has visited most of the 
doorways described. He has also studied most of the works 

dealing with the topography and architecture of the county, 



and trusts, therefore, that this will justify his temerity, and 
that he may be deemed competent to compile in a com- 
prehensive form all that can be stated on this somewhat 
narrow but interesting topic. 

Before commencing our treatise, which will deal mainly 
with the doorways in the churches and other ecclesiastical 
structures in the county, it will perhaps be convenient to 
refer to the few examples which occur in the secular build- 
ings. The main arches of Bootham Bar, Micklegate, and 
Walmgate, York, are all plain, massive, semicircular-headed, 
and probably of early date. 

At Richmond Castle the fine early Norman keep has 
a large main doorway, with two plain recessed arch 
mouldings, chamfered abacus, two engaged shafts on each 
side with large cushion capitals, except the inner on left, 
which has the acanthus design. On the first stage is a 
smaller doorway with billet on the hoodmould, plain order, 
chamfered abacus, large capital on each side the shafts 
have gone and plain tympanum. In the banqueting-hall 
are two plain late doorways on the ground floor, and on 
the first stage a large mutilated arch with chamfered abacus, 
and one capital with the acanthus ornament. 

At Tickhill Castle are also Norman arches, and at 
Helmsley Castle is a plain doorway incorporated with the 
Elizabethan building erected by the Duke of Buckingham. 
At Conisbrough Castle are numerous plain doorways, some 
with transverse lintels. The main entrance on the first 
floor has a plain semicircular arch tympanum and lintel ; 
the stones of the lintel are joggled in, in rather a peculiar 

The western doorway to the inner portion of Skipton 
Castle consists " of a treble semicircular arch, supported 
on square piers," concealed by the present entrance, which 
was added by Lady Pembroke. At Pickering Castle is a 
doorway in the curtain wall, semicircular-headed, with the 
pointed arched moulding on an angle roll, one scalloped 
capital on each side, and part of an octagonal shaft. In 

. ' - 



the two lower stages of a tower on the east side are plain 
doorways with chamfered edge to the arch and jambs. 

It is worthy of notice that most of the doorways of the 
churches date from about the middle of the twelfth century, 
the period when a wave of religious enthusiasm swept 
through the county, and the majority of those glorious 
abbeys were founded, of which we still possess sufficient 
to enlighten us as to the artistic genius of the ancient 
builders, and the unbounded liberality of the founders of 
these great monastic institutions. 

There are numerous churches in the county which are 
undoubtedly of pre-Norman date, but very few doorways 
remain which can be attributed to this early period. 
Sometimes, as at Kirkdale, the arch of the doorway has 
probably been slightly altered in later times, while the 
celebrated sundial above it still remains as a record of 
the early history of the church. At Laughton-en-le-Morthen 
the north doorway has a very plain Saxon arch now 
within one of transitional Norman date. In the crypt at 
Lastingham are some plain doorways, and those on the 
south side of the tower of Bardsey Church and at Terring- 
ton are reputed to be very ancient. At Kirk Hammerton 
(Fig. i) the south doorway, the eastern portion of which 
has been somewhat renewed, has a plain hoodmould, con- 
tinued as a masonry strip down the jambs to the ground. 
The arch is plain, and the abacus very massive with 
quarter round on the lower part. The west doorway 
to the tower is also very early, with two plain orders 
and abacus, one massive shaft on each side with large 
capital having some shallow scalloping on it. At Weaver- 
thorpe the south doorway has a plain arch lintel and 
jambs, and recessed tympanum. In the centre of this 
has been inserted an early sundial with a four-line in- 
scription above it. 

The south doorway of Londesborough Church is of very 
early character. There is a deep groove on the arch, 
a very massive lintel supporting a heavy tympanum, on 


which is engraved a sundial. The abacus is also massive, 
with some attempt at ornamentation on the west side, 
viz., shallow incised circles. A plain capital remains on 
each side, but the shafts are gone. Above the arch is 
a large Maltese cross with interlacing work on it, and 
a rose, or perhaps a figure, in the centre. (A very similar 
cross, though probably of later date, still remains above 
the fine ; Norman doorway at Bucklebury Church, Berk- 
shire.) At Ledsham Church the south tower doorway 
possesses characteristics of the Saxon period, to which the 
tower undoubtedly belongs. The arch is in two orders. 
On the outer is a twining stem with leaves and fruit 
carried down the jambs to the ground ; at the apex of the 
arch are three medallions, each enclosing a twelve-petalled 
rose. The inner order and jambs are massive and plain, 
and are separated by an abacus with interlaced work 
carved on it. The sculpture on the doorway at Danby 
Wiske is very rude, but cannot be ascribed with certainty 
to the pre-Norman period. The south doorway at Kirby 
Hill exhibits some long and short work on the jambs and 
a carved impost still in situ, which is alleged to be Saxon. 

A considerable number of the doorways have tympana 
and lintels filling up the heads of the arches. Some are 
early, as the example at Londesborough already mentioned, 
and another at Bulmer, and there are plain tympana at 
Fordon, Kirkburn (North), Hunmanby (West), Roche 
Abbey, Romaldkirk, Seamer, and elsewhere, also in the 
interior of Selby Abbey and North Newbald Church. On 
the chancel doorway at Birkin the tympanum is plain, but the 
lintel is formed of small squared stones forming transverse 
lines. At Thorp Arch part of a former tympanum is let 
into the wall of the porch. It is ornamented with the hollow 
square or chessboard pattern. At Garton-on-the- Wolds 
is a small square-headed doorway in the interior east wall 
of the tower, with some scalloping on the lintel. The south 
doorway at Hauxwell has a tympanum divided up by double 
transverse lines into a series of lozenges, each enclosing 


a circular disc. At Braithwell Church the tympanum is 
surrounded by a cable band, and has carved on it a circle 
enclosing a kind of gridiron pattern, another enclosing a 
pellet, and portions of the star ornament and pellets very 
irregularly arranged. There are five and a half large stars 
on the under side of the lintel. 

In the " List of Norman Tympana and Lintels with 
Figure or Symbolical Sculpture," recently published by the 
author of this paper, eight examples are given from York- 
shire, viz., at Aldbrough in Holderness, Alne, Hunmanby, 
Austerfield, Danby Wiske, Wold Newton, Thwing, and 
the York Museum, and excellent illustrations of the last 
five are included in the work. 

At Hunmanby, over the south doorway is a very mas- 
sive tympanum with a Maltese cross, not within a circle, 
on the lower part. This is almost concealed by a wooden 
replica, which has been placed in front of it in compara- 
tively recent times. At Wold Newton the very fine south 
doorway has a most interesting tympanum. The surface is 
diapered with chequer work, and in the centre is a Maltese 
" cross within a circle, having three small circular discs 
on the left and a circle on the right of the upper limb. 
Local tradition asserts that these are emblems respectively 
of the Blessed Trinity and Eternity." At Austerfield the 
carving is very curious, portraying a dragon with broad 
head and gradually decreasing beaded body towards the 
tail, which is knotted. Below it are a row of semicircles, and 
below again and more recessed, two circles enclosing pellets, 
several roses and pellets. Over the south chancel window 
of Aldbrough Church in Holderness is an irregularly shaped 
stone, said to have been brought from an earlier church, 
and probably the tympanum or lintel of a small doorway. 
On it are sculptured two animals with long tails, that on 
the left devouring a branch and suckling its young, that 
on the right with some chevron ornament above and at 
its side. The carving is very rude, and alleged to be of 
pre-Norman date. 


At Hilton, now let into the south wall of the nave, is a 
carved panel on which is a recumbent animal under a semi- 
circular arch. This may have formed the head of a former 
doorway. One of the commonest subjects on the tympana 
is a representation of the Agnus Dei. Only one example, 
and that an early one, remains in Yorkshire, viz. at Thwing 
over the south doorway (Fig. 2), " where the lamb is 
represented as a somewhat attenuated animal," facing east 
and holding the cross on the right forefoot. Some courses 
of shallow zigzag are carved on the semicircular portion. 
Over the south chancel doorway at Alne Church is a 
massive stone lintel on which, in the centre within a circular 
medallion, are carved two serpents in deadly combat ; on 
either side outside the circle is a bird holding the border 
with beak and claws. Within smaller medallions in the 
upper corners is on the west a lion, on the east (?) an 
eagle, and it is possible all the evangelistic emblems may 
have been portrayed. Below the lion is a rose. 

Perhaps the most curious is that at Danby Wiske, 
where the carving is exceeding^ rude, though not neces- 
sarily on that account of very early date (Fig. 3). 

"A large figure in the centre is presenting a square object, presumably 
a book, with his left hand, to a smaller figure holding out his right hand to 
receive it, while another personage stands on the right of the central figure. 
In Whitaker's History of Richmondshire it is asserted that this subject repre- 
sents Earl Alan and Copsi and his man Landric. This interpretation, 
however, seems hardly feasible. It was thought that it might be an example 
of the subject of Christ presenting a key to St. Peter and book to St. Paul, 
as we find on the tympanum at Siddington, above the doorway at Elstow, 
and formerly in a painting of the Norman period at Westmeston in Sussex, 
but a close examination of this sculpture at Danby Wiske failed to reveal any 
trace of a key, and further seemed to prove that the personage to the right of 
the central figure was a female. Can the subject be intended to commemorate 
some grant made to the church ? " 

In the York Museum is preserved a tympanum found 
in a cellar near the cathedral. 

" On it is sculptured a recumbent figure breathing out its soul, and three 
arge winged demons contending for its possession. At a time when the 


fear of death was constantly in the minds of the people, such a representation 
would, no doubt, exercise its influence to promote more absolute obedience 
to the dictates of the Church." 

The beautiful entrance to the refectory at Rievaulx Abbey, 
of very late transitional date with the tympanum cut out 
into a trefoil, will be described later on. 

Some of the doorways are set within projecting masonry 
capped by a pediment, as, for instance, the south doorway 
of Stillingfleet -and St. Margaret's Walmgate, York ; of 
Garton-on-the-Wolds, which has been severely renovated ; at 
Kilham, where the space within the pediment is ornamented 
with a series of cross-bars with circles on them and roses 
at the points of intersection. The cross-bars enclose panels 
on which are four-leaved flowers, and rings within circles. 
Below is a course of the star ornament, and below again 
of the chevron. At Kirkstall Abbey the great west portal 
has also a pediment above the arch, with some intersecting 
semicircular arches within the triangular portion. The 
west doorway of Nun Monkton Priory Church has also a 
pediment above, with pellets within a hollow along the 
triangular ridge, and terminating on either side on a small 
shaft with foliated capital. Above the arch is a trefoil- 
headed niche for an image. The magnificent portal at 
Adel, with an elaborately sculptured arch and pediment, 
will be specially described later on. The south doorway 
of North Newbald Church is set within projecting masonry, 
and above it is a vesica-shaped niche with, as a bordering, 
a course of interlaced work, then of chevron, and then of 
grooved lines. Within the niche is a figure of Christ 
seated, and richly vested, with left hand on the book of the 
Gospels, and right in the attitude of benediction. 

The Norman porches are here, as elsewhere, compara- 
tively rare. At Askham Bryan is a south porch, with very 
fine outer arch. The north porch of Selby Abbey is of late 
date. The north porch at Barton-le-Street has some very 
remarkable carvings, but is of rather patchwork character. 
The outer arch of the south porch at Sherburn in Elmete 


appears to have been altered, but still has a variety of the 
zigzag, forming lozenges with pellets, &c. The outer arch 
of the porch at Goodmanham is Norman, but has also been 

We now come to the description of the principal door- 
ways in Yorkshire, and among so many examples it is 
difficult to decide which are most worthy of special note. 
There are, of course, in a county of this magnitude and 
importance, distinctive features in the doorways, as in 
many other branches of art. There must, no doubt, have 
been special schools or centres of learning and refinement 
in the north of England from an early period, whence 
emanated the designs for those wonderful masterpieces of 
the skill of the mason, so many of which have fortunately 
survived to our day. The most interesting doorways are 
those of the St. Margaret's at York type, with several rows 
of medallions enclosing figure subjects and varied ornaments. 
No such elaborate portals, with very few exceptions, are 
found out of Yorkshire, and the variety of the symbolism 
employed makes it exceedingly difficult to interpret them 
successfully. Amongst these may be especially enumer- 
ated the principal entrances at Alne, Birkin, Brayton, 
Etton, Fishlake, Healaugh, Kirkburn, Riccall, Stillingfleet, 
Wighill, Bishop Wilton, and St. Denis, St. Lawrence, and 
St. Margaret, York. All these will, as far as possible, 
be hereafter described. Another very noticeable feature 
is the number of Yorkshire doorways with the beak-head 
and monster-head ornaments. There are at least forty 
examples in the county, ranging from early specimens at 
Shipton to very late ones at Old Malton and Easby. 
The beak-head ornament occurs more or less throughout 
England, and, next to Yorkshire, perhaps most commonly 
in the western midland counties. What the significance 
of these grotesque carvings may be has never been 
explained with certainty, but the suggestion that they 
represent the devil and his angels in the Parable of the 
Sower affords a probable solution, and their situation on 


the doorways and chancel arches would be very appropriate 
as a warning to those who might be negligent in the per- 
formance of their religious duties. However that may 
be, this form of ornament seems especially to have com- 
mended itself to the favour of the architects in those 
austere times, and may still aftord valuable teaching in 
this epoch of perhaps too great independence of thought 
in religious matters. 

Of the ordinary mouldings and ornaments we find fair 
representations throughout the county. The zigzag, or 
chevron, is of very common occurrence ; and we find every 
form of it, from the shallow-incised lines to the elaborate 
varieties at Selby and other late examples. The lozenge 
and star are of frequent occurrence, but the billet and cable 
are not common, and the frette only appears in two or three 
instances, though what is designated the diamond frette is 
more in evidence. The guilloche, or intersecting lines, is 
comparatively common, and varied kinds of labels, some- 
times approaching tongues, are not rare. The saw-tooth and 
indented will often be noted, and early forms of foliage are 
constantly introduced. Some of the more elaborate door- 
ways were, no doubt, enriched with colour, and traces of 
decoration in red have been noted on the medallions of the 
arches at Brayton, North Grimston, and St. Margaret's and 
St. Maurice's, York. 

There are numerous doorways with plain arches, but 
these have, as a rule, chamfered angles to the arches and 
jambs, and are not, therefore, ot early date. Indeed, there 
are very few Norman portals which can be ascribed to the 
eleventh century. The west doorway at Masham Church 
may belong to this period. It has a chamfered hoodmould, 
two outer orders, each with a hollow and bold angle roll, 
a plain inner order, and chamfered abacus. There are two 
shafts to the outer orders with zigzag and lozenge ornament 
on the capitals. The west doorway at Hovingham is also 
very massive and early, with a groove and very bold roll 
in arch, and plain inner order, massive chamfered abacus, 


one solid shaft on each side to the outer order, with a rude 
attempt at a capital. Similar doorways occur at Sinnington. 

As has been stated, the examples of arches with the 
zigzag ornament are very numerous. An early instance 
occurs on the south chancel doorway at Salton. There we 
see the alternate billet on the hoodmould, and four lines of 
shallow incised zigzag on the flat face of the arch and star 
on the abacus. At Cayton and Fridaythorp the arches 
have three orders, all ornamented with varied zigzag ; and 
at Goodmanham and Scawton are several rows of the same 
chevron moulding. At Husthwaite is a triple row of billet 
on the hoodmould, and three courses of zigzag on the arch. 
At Helmsley the south doorway, one of the few portions of 
the original Norman church which has been preserved, is 
very fine, with four recessed orders. All have the zigzag on 
face and soffit, those on the outer order forming lozenges 
on the angle. The chevrons on the faces of the three inner 
orders are very acutely pointed. The abacus is grooved 
and chamfered. The three outer shafts on each side have 
been renewed, but some of the capitals are old, with varied 
scalloping. The inner order has engaged respond shafts 
with bunch foliage on the capitals. 

The south doorway at Kilham is also very fine, with 
large, well-carved arch and a profusion of the zigzag orna- 
ment. It has a hoodmould enriched with the zigzag and 
six recessed orders, all having rows of the zigzag, viz. on 
the outer order a single row, on the next triple, on the next 
double, on the next triple, on the next single, and quadruple 
on the soffit, and on the inner double, and a double row on 
each side of the lozenge on the angle. The abacus is mainly 
plain, but one portion has interlaced work and wheels. On 
the capitals are some small figures within medallions, and 
varied ornamentation. The carving on the pediment above 
has already been described At Kirk Bramwith the arch 
has three reveals, with a series of chevrons set horizontally 
on the outer order, then a row of grotesque beak-heads, very 
excellent examples, on a roll, and some incised courses of 


zigzag on the inner order. When visited in 1878, this arch 
was almost concealed by the ivy. 

The Church of Garton-on-the- Wolds has been drastically 
restored, but still exhibits very fine specimens of Norman 
work. The west doorway has a pattern of semicircles, 
star, and double billet on the hoodmould, then three recessed 
orders, each with several varied rows of zigzag, and then, 
on inner order, a hollow and roll moulding both on the face 
and soffit. On the abacus, which is continued as a string- 
course north and south, is the star ornament. There are 
three nook shafts and an inner engaged respond shaft on 
each side, all with early scalloped capitals. The south 
doorway looks very new, and is set within projecting 
masonry and with pediment above. It is very similar in its 
details to the western doorway. 

At North Newbald are four very excellent Norman door- 
ways, in addition to one in the interior, viz. on north and 
south of nave, and on north and south of the transepts. 
The south doorway (Fig. 4) is very large, and set in project- 
ing masonry, with the niche and figure above, which have 
already been described. The arch has five recessed orders ; 
the outer is plain, the next has a very boldly carved cable, 
the next a hollow and roll, the next two or three courses 
of zigzag, and the inner is plain with four engaged roll 
mouldings on the soffit. The grooved and chamfered 
abacus is continued east and west as a string-course. 
There are three detached shafts, with varied scroll foliage 
on the capitals, and double engaged respond shafts to the 
inner order. On the western capital is beautifully carved 
scroll foliage, and an animal in the midst of it devouring 
one of the branches. The north doorway has a plain outer 
order and jambs and three more reveals. On the outer is 
a row of lozenges enclosing nail-heads on the angle, on the 
next several rows of zigzag, and on the inner two half rolls 
on the soffit. The abacus is massive, grooved, and cham- 
fered, and continued east and west as a string-course. There 
are two detached shafts and a respond on each side, all with 


early foliated capitals. The south transept doorway has four 
recessed orders, all with varieties of the zigzag on face and 
soffit, except the inner, which has an engaged roll on the 
soffit. The abacus is similar to that of the other doorways. 
There are two nook shafts and a respond on each side, 
some of the capitals being enriched with foliage, others 
plain scalloped. Most of them have cable bands below. 
The north transept doorway has an outer row of lozenges 
enclosing nail-heads, then several rows of zigzag, and a 
double engaged roll on the soffit of the inner order. The 
capitals are foliated. 

The west doorway at Campsall Church has been much 
restored. It has a hoodmould and four recessed orders. 
There is a double row of nail-heads on the face and 
chamfer of the hoodmould, on the outer order shallow 
lozenges on face and soffit, forming lozenges on the 
angle ; on the next a triple row of zigzag ; on the next 
several small and one large row of zigzag with nail- 
heads at the angle ; and on the inner a plain half round 
on face and soffit, and smaller half round on either side 
of that on soffit. The abacus has the quarter round. 
There are three nook shafts and one engaged inner shaft 
or respond on each side. The shafts are new, but the 
capitals with fluting are old. At East Ardsley the south 
doorway has on the hoodmould an unusual type of the 
chevron ornament ; then come two courses of zigzag on 
face and soffit forming lozenges on the angle, and then 
a series of stars or saltires ; the abacus is not chamfered. 
There are two capitals on each side, but the shafts are 
gone. The arch is filled up, and a smaller one inserted 
within it. At the Chapel of the Hospital of St. Mary 
Magdalene, Ripon, is a mutilated south doorway with a 
hoodmould chamfered off both above and below, having 
intersecting zigzag lines forming lozenges on the main 
portion and double billet on the lower chamfer; on the 
arch is a bold zigzag, almost entirely hacked away. Part 
of the abacus only remains, with the intersecting zigzag 




lines, and one scalloped capital almost concealed in the 
wall. A fifteenth-century doorway has been inserted 
within the Norman one. There are good specimens of 
the zigzag on the doorways at Austerfield, Conisbrough, 
Edlington, and Thorpe Salvin, which will be described 
later on. At some of the abbeys, Selby, St. Mary's 
York, Kirkstall, &c., are fine examples. These are all 
of late date, and will be referred to hereafter. At Askham 
Bryan the outer arch of the south porch is very fine, and of 
somewhat late date (Fig. 5). It is described in Sheahan 
and Whellan's History and Topography of the City of York t 
&c., i. 652, as " exhibiting three series of chevrons and 
counter chevron mouldings, which rest on ornamental 
columns." There is a pediment above it with a chamfered 
moulding to the ridge. On the hoodmould of the arch 
is a small half round, and larger engaged roll, then on 
the outer order a hollow and small roll, and bold chevrons 
enclosing trefoil leaves, except three at the apex, which 
enclose pellets, on face and soffit of the arch, their points 
just touching on the angle. Next comes a series of deeply 
cut lozenges on face and soffit, meeting and forming another 
row of deeply cut lozenges on the angle. There are trefoil 
leaves within the outer chevrons. Then comes a course of 
bold chevron or indented enclosing leaves on face and 
soffit, their points meeting at the angle, and forming a 
series of very deeply undercut lozenges intersected by a 
roll. There are two shafts on each side with varied foliage 
on the capitals, and two fir-cones below the outer on west 
side. To the inner order are large scalloped capitals and 
a series of pellets down the angle of the jamb. The abaci 
are grooved and chamfered, the outer portion on each side 
having the half-round moulding. 

Very rich specimens of the lozenge ornament remain on 
doorways at Sinningthwaite Nunnery and Kirkham Priory, 
which will be described later on. At Thorpe Salvin is a 
fine south doorway of late date (Fig. 6). It has an outer 
row of a sort of elliptic arched ornament, then a row of 



pellets, then a roll having on each side the beaded zigzag 
enclosing flowers, and having a row of beads on the inner 
side, then a course of lozenge with deeply undercut lozenges 
on either side, and beyond a band of zigzag enclosing leaves 
or 'flowers ; on the inner course of lozenges are pellets. 
There is an inner row of the same elliptic arched, and 
pellets and a keel-shaped order. The abacus is chamfered 
and ornamented with pellets. There are two main shafts 
on each side, the outer capitals having early foliage, the 
inner scalloped with beaded inverted semicircles enclosing 
leaves above. A cable band is introduced below each. 
There is an engaged keel-shaped shaft to the inner order 
with foliated capital and cable band below. 

To the Norman crypt at York Minster have been two 
very fine and ornate doorways, but, unfortunately, only the 
jambs remain. The south doorway had three orders, the 
two outer having ornamental jambs, viz. with the beaded 
dovetail enclosing a fir-cone, and with the beaded frette or 
embattled, the inner order, with the exception of the base 
of a shaft, having disappeared. Of the north doorway only 
the jambs remain ; on the outer is a central and side engaged 
roll with lines of beading, and set on this alternately beaded 
lozenges and circles. The middle order has a shaft orna- 
mented with rich beaded cable formed by a beaded roll 
moulding twining round the main shaft, as at Pittington 
and elsewhere. There is an angle roll to this order. The 
base only of the shaft of the inner order remains. 

The south doorway of Wold Newton is very interesting. 
On the main face and chamfer of the hoodmould is a 
series of labels, then on the arch fourteen flat voussoirs, 
on which are carved varied stars, and on the west one 
sections of concentric circles. There is a roll moulding 
at the angle. This rests on a richly carved abacus with, 
on the west side, the lozenge cable and saw-tooth orna- 
ments ; on east side, the embattled or square billet, lozenge, 
star, and nail-head. On the upper part of the outer jamb 
on west is a large bird within a square frame, and in a 




corresponding position on the east jamb, also within a 
square frame, a large wheel with eight spokes. There is 
one shaft on each side with capital having some shallow 
scalloping and two eight-rayed stars on each face, and a 
cable band below. The sculptured tympanum, with its 
somewhat obscure symbolical carving, has already been 

Mention has already been made of the large number 
of arches in this county with the remarkable moulding 
generally designated the beak-head or monster -head. 
There are probably more examples of this in Yorkshire 
than in the rest of England, and larger specimens than 
can be found elsewhere. In some instances they occur 
only on the arch, in others they are continued down the 
jambs to the ground, but always with the beaks attached 
to a roll moulding. In a few cases, as at Barton-le-Street, 
there is a beak-head on the angle of one of the capitals. 

One of the earliest doorways with this scheme of orna- 
mentation is that on the south side of Shipton Church. 
Here, besides a partly destroyed roll moulding, are thirteen 
very rudely carved beak-heads on a roll with chamfered 
abacus and two shafts with early scalloped capitals. At 
St. George's Church, Doncaster, after the fire, we read: 
" From the mass of ruins, as well as out of the masonry 
of the tower piers, in which they had been used as old 
materials, the author himself collected several portions of 
a doorway with very fine and bold beak-heads." 1 At Easby 
Abbey we find two rows of twenty-four and sixteen respec- 
tively ; at Salton also two rows, the outer with sixteen, the 
inner with twenty-seven pairs arranged beak to beak. At 
Adel and Edlington we find the beak-heads round the arch 
and down the jambs to the ground. There are good ex- 
amples of this ornamentation on doorways which will not be 
specially described: at Ampleforth (n), Ay ton, East (9), 
Burnby (19 new), Kiln wick-on- the- Wolds (13), Kirk by 

1 Rev. J. E. Jackson, Ruined Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Doncasttr, 
p. 17 (note). 


Wiske (11), Rossington (18), Sowerby (15), Thorpe Arch 
(15), Amotherby (2), Goldsborough (14), Spofforth (23), 
also at Osmotherley, Snainton, Swinton, and Easington, 
and doubtless more can be enumerated. 

The south doorway at Austerfield Chapel is a very fine 
one. It appears to have had an outer row of beaded semi- 
circles, but these are now concealed by the porch. On the 
next order is a course of the zigzag with nail-heads within 
the chevrons, and on the inner a row of seventeen beak- 
heads. The abacus is plain chamfered. The shafts and 
capitals on each side are massive, with scallop, zigzag, and 
pellet ornaments. The curious tympanum has already 
been referred to. 

The south doorway at Bardsey has an outer row of 
seventeen large beak-heads, some beaded, on a roll, then 
a course of zigzag on face and soffit of the arch, forming 
sunk lozenges on the angle, and with foliage within the 
chevrons on the face of the arch only. It has a plain 
inner order and jambs, grooved and chamfered abacus, 
two shafts on each side, the outer, on west, new, with 
varied scalloping on the capitals. There has doubtless 
been a hoodmould, and probably more archivolt mouldings. 
Some fragments of an arch are preserved under the tower, 
(a) with saw-tooth and billet ornament, (b) very large, with 
zigzag, foliage, a rose, &c., which are very likely portions 
of this doorway. 

At Edlington Church is a very fine south doorway with, 
on the hoodmould, which terminates on two heads on either 
side, a row of fourteen beaded circles enclosing roses, a 
course of billet on the upper side with leaves between. On 
the outer order is a row of thirty-three beak-heads, carried 
round the arch and down the jambs to the ground. These 
beak-heads are very large, and in excellent preservation. 
On the inner order is a double band of zigzag, also con- 
tinued to the ground ; the inner row has the fir-cone or 
ornamental pellet within the chevrons. There are no 
capitals or imposts. 


The west doorway of Etton Church (Fig. 7) has a double 
row of billet on the hoodmould with head terminations. On 
the outer order is a row of nineteen ornamental labels 
grooved to look like tongues on a roll, except in the centre, 
where are two beaded circles one above the other en- 
closing foliage. Next comes a row of sixteen beak-heads 
on a roll, and then of nine beaded medallions enclosing 
foliage, and with tongues of foliage of the Stillingflect 
type ; also on the same order on each side, the third 
from the bottom being a circle enclosing a rose. The 
abacus is plain and chamfered. There are two shafts to 
the outer orders and an engaged shaft to the inner, with 
scalloped capitals, the two on the north side with zigzag 
band below. The south doorway at Fangfoss is set within a 
porch-like projection, and has been rather freely restored. 
It has a course of the indented on the hoodmould and three 
recessed orders. On the outer is a row of twenty-two 
irregularly shaped labels on an angle roll, all ornamented 
with various designs, foliage, cable, zigzag, guilloche, roses, 
&c. On the middle order are nineteen beak-heads on an 
angle roll, and on the inner order sixteen large dentils 
with sunk pointed arches between each. The abacus with 
rose ornament, and three shafts with varied carving on 
the capitals look quite modern. 

At Barton-le-Street is some very remarkable carving 
on the arches of the north porch and doorway, though 
some parts of the work have been much renewed. The 
arch of the north porch is of patchwork character. There 
is a hoodmould with a small border of semicircles en- 
closing beads, and a series of subjects, &c. ; starting from 
the west: (i) two birds devouring fruit, (2) a tree, (3) an 
animal, (4) St. Michael pressing the Cross into the mouth of 
the prostrate serpent, (5) two animals sitting up and facing 
each other, (6) Eve, (7) a figure with balances, (8, at apex) 
St. Peter with pastoral staff and keys, (9) another figure, 
(10) Adam, (u) a mermaid and the mystic fishes, (12) two 
animals on either side of a tree and another tree behind 


them, (13) a large animal with beaded serpent's tail, (14) 
two animals. There are two reveals ; on the outer order is 
the recessed and raised zigzag on the face, and raised zigzag 
and lozenge on the soffit ; only the eastern portion is old. 
The inner order has bold zigzag with fir-cones within the 
chevrons on the face and half roll on the soffit. The 
abacus, shafts ornamented with the beaded cable, and 
scalloped capitals look new. To the inner order are a 
series of flat medallions, connected by an angle roll, down 
the jambs. The upper, on west, has the Agnus Dei, with 
Cross and banner and two angels ; the others, seven in 
number, are all new. On the east side, the upper one, 
much worn, has an animal and beaded foliage; the next 
three are new ; on the next are three birds and three beak- 
heads ; on the next four heads and foliage on the angle ; 
and on the lowest a head at the angle with foliage coming 
from the mouth. 

The arch of the north doorway (Fig. 8) is also very 
elaborate, with two recessed orders. On the outer is a 
small beaded border and sixteen irregular voussoirs, on 
which are carved heads, animals, trees, and foliage. On 
the inner order is some rich interlacing scroll foliage, and 
a roll on the angle. The abacus, cable shaft, and capital 
to the outer order are new. To the inner order a beaded 
cable is carried down the angle of the jambs, and on 
each side are subjects carved on flat voussoirs. At the 
top on the east side is a bird on either face of the 
jambs ; the next two voussoirs are new ; then, on north 
face, two beaded circles enclosing foliage, on west face, 
an eagle and foliage ; on next, on north, a female hold- 
ing a branch and an animal in front of her (can this 
be the legend of St. Margaret?), on west, a lion with 
foliated tail and star round the border ; on lowest, on 
north, Sagittarius, on west, interlaced scroll foliage. On 
the west jamb : on north, a figure holding (?) a spear, on 
east face, two monster heads with foliage from mouths ; 
the next three are new. On the next, on east, a figure 

s, - v 


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v -.:'- - 

^**~^~ """* <: xll 






riding an animal, perhaps Samson, or David and the lion, 
on the north, a beaded interlaced object ; on lower, on east, 
a rose and cable, on north, a head. On the interior side 
of the doorway, within the nave, is a hoodmould orna- 
mented with the alternate leaf pattern, with ram's head 
and human head termination ; a roll moulding is carried 
round the arch and down the jambs. Above the arch on 
the exterior side are numerous fragments of sculpture, 
probably portions of this north or some other doorway ; 
three voussoirs seem to represent three of the months 
with figures within double-beaded medallions, and there are 
two more with the upper half only of the subject ; one 
figure carries a scythe, another has a wheatsheaf. On 
another medallion is a figure seated with patriarchal tiara, 
and holding a sword, within a beaded vesica. On two 
more stones is the story of the Nativity, viz. on one 
the Blessed Virgin and Infant Saviour in bed, and two 
guardian angels swinging censers ; on the other three 
crowned figures, the Magi, and two with hoods, (?) the 
shepherds hastening to Bethlehem. There are two stones, 
each with a large rose and part of a cross coffin lid. 
These have all been inserted in their present situation, 
and no doubt more information can be obtained about 

The noble south entrance at Adel Church (Fig. 9) is 
perhaps the finest and best known of the Yorkshire door- 
ways. It is set within a porch-like projection with pediment 
above. It is of grand proportions, both as regards the 
height, breadth, and depth of the arch. It has a hoodmould 
and five recessed orders. The hoodmould is chamfered both 
ways with the indented ornament on the central portion. 
On the outer order are two courses of recessed and raised 
zigzag on the face, and one on the soffit, the points of the 
inner raised zigzags meeting and forming lozenges enclosing 
smaller lozenges on the angle ; on the next order are two 
half-round mouldings ; on the next a grooved zigzag and bold 
raised zigzag on the angle with a pellet within each chevron ; 


6n the next a series of twenty beak-heads on a roll ; on the 
inner is an engaged angle roll with groove on either side 
continued down the jambs without imposts to the ground. 
The abacus is grooved and chamfered, and continued as a 
string-course to the angles of the porch. There are shafts 
to the two outer orders ; the ornamentation of the two 
next orders is continued down the jambs to the ground. 
There are eleven beak-heads on the east and ten on the 
west side to that order. All the four outer orders have 
richly carved capitals with animals, birds, and foliage. 
Along the triangular ridge of the pediment is carved a 
double half round with small quirk or pointed member 
between, and at the apex is a monster-head. Within the 
upper part of the pediment is the Agnus Dei, nimbed, and 
supporting the Cross and banner on right forefoot. It 
is facing eastwards. On the east side is a large pellet, 
and on the west a defaced object. Below and over the 
head of the arch, within an oblong panel, is a mutilated 
representation of our Lord seated and giving the Bene- 
diction. On each side, and also within oblong panels, are 
the evangelistic emblems : on the west, St. Matthew as 
an angel, nimbed, and holding a book, and St. Luke as the 
winged ox ; on the east, St. John as the eagle with nimbus, 
and behind him St. Mark as the winged lion. On each 
side again, and filling up as it were the spandril spaces, 
is, on the west, a representation of the golden candlestick 
with twisted stem and four visible lights; on the east is 
a more uncertain object, perhaps the tree of life and 
spiritual knowledge. Both this doorway and the noble 
chancel arch are worthy of the attentive study of all lovers 
of Norman architecture. On the door is preserved a very 
interesting knocker of bronze of the same date as the arch. 
The details of the doorway and pediment are given by 
the Rev. H. T. Simpson in the History of the Parish 
of Adelj and an attempt is there made to interpret the 

We now come to the series of doorways containing 


features which specially distinguish them from those of 
other parts of England. Most of these are very fine, and 
are set in porch-like projections to allow scope for the 
depth of the several orders into which the arches are 
divided. Many have six reveals or recessed orders, and 
cannot fail to impress the spectator by the variety and 
quaint character of their details, which invest them with 
a sort of barbaric splendour. Some of those already 
described are also of the special Yorkshire type, such as 
Etton and Fangfoss, but are not so distinctive as those 
to be now dealt with. They are to be found at Alne, 
Birkin, Brayton, Fishlake, Healaugh, Kirkburn, Riccall, 
Stillingfleet, Wighill, Bishop Wilton, and SS. Denis, 
Lawrence, Margaret, and Maurice, York. 

The doorway from St. Maurice's Church is set up in 
a garden in Monkgate, and only a portion of it remains. 
It has an outer order of eleven beak-heads and three beaded 
tongues with foliage above on a roll, and an inner with 
eleven roses within beaded circles. It bore traces of colour. 
The north doorway of St. Lawrence's Church Extra- Walm- 
gate, York (Fig. 10), of which an excellent illustration occurs 
in Brown's Etchings of St. Lawrence's Church, York, is 
very fine, the arch being within the porch-like projection, 
and having a string-course above it with the alternate leaf 
pattern on either side of a stem, starting from a mouth 
at each extremity. The arch has a hoodmould and four 
recessed orders. On the hoodmould is the leaf pattern 
within a semicircle, commonly called the antique, with a 
head at the apex, and a later head at each extremity. On 
the outer order is a row of single leaves on either side 
of a winding beaded stem with two dragons at the apex, 
a small cable band runs round below it, and there is an 
engaged roll on the angle. On the next order is a twining 
stem with foliage on either side, a dragon at the apex, and 
an engaged roll on the angle. On the next order are two 
beaded interlacing lines forming a series of medallions 
which enclose leaves, and with a dragon at each extremity. 


The inner order is plain. The abacus is chamfered with 
the single leaves on either side of a twining stem on the 
upper, and part of the chamfered, portion, and interlacing 
scroll foliage on the remainder of the chamfered portion. 
The outer order rests on a pier on each side with engaged 
shaft to outer and inner angles and scalloped capitals much 
worn. There are two detached shafts to the two next 
orders, and two engaged jamb shafts with quirk between 
to the inner order. On the capital of the outer shaft on 
right is a large head at the angle. On one side is Sagittarius 
discharging an arrow at it ; on the other side two figures, 
one naked, who seem to be grasping each other by the 
hand. On the next capital is a winged monster with one 
head and two bodies. The inner capitals are scalloped, a 
star being introduced on that on left. On the next, on left, 
is the contest between the Agnus Dei with the Cross and 
the Dragon, which has beaded body and tail. There is 
perhaps a figure between the combatants. On the next is 
beaded interlaced foliage and two animals. There are 
bands of roses, cable and zigzag below the capitals. This 
church has been pulled down, but the doorway has been 
preserved with the tower. The south doorway of St. Denis 
Walmgate, York (Fig. 1 1 ), partly within a projection, has a 
hoodmould and five recessed orders. The hoodmould is 
plain and chamfered. On the outer order is the alternate 
leaf pattern on either side of a twining stem, starting from 
a head at each extremity ; on the next order is a row of 
twenty-six beak-heads, some quite worn away ; on the next 
is an angle roll and zigzag on either side on the face and 
soffit of the arch ; on the next are nineteen irregular circles 
with the tongues of foliage as at Stillingfleet. Some of the 
circles enclose leaves, others roses, others heads, and one 
a bird and animal fighting. On the inner order is a row 
of lozenges enclosing leaves, and double roll with quirk 
between on the soffit The abacus has the quarter-round 
moulding. The inner shafts are engaged, the others are 
gone, plain piers now supporting the capitals; most of 




these are ornamented with foliage, on the second from the 
right is a man and animal, and on the third from the left 
a head with foliage coming from the mouth. 

The south doorway of St. Margaret's, Walmgate, York 
(Fig. 12), has been somewhat drastically restored, but is still 
very interesting. It is set within the usual porch-like pro- 
jection, there being a considerable space between the two 
inner orders, and is very deeply recessed with hoodmould 
and five reveals. There is a low pediment above. Admir- 
able illustrations of it are given in Carter's Ancient Sculpture 
and Painting, vol. ii. plates facing pages xxxi and xxxv., 
and in Halfpenny's Fragmenta Vetusta, York, plate xxiv., 
and elsewhere. It is supposed to have been brought from 
some other church. On the hoodmould are the signs of the 
zodiac and the symbols of the months, as on the font at 
Brookland in Kent, but somewhat irregularly arranged. The 
voussoirs have, no doubt, been shuffled about during some 
of the vicissitudes to which the arch has been subjected. 

One or two of the subjects shown in Carter's drawing 
are not now decipherable, or have altogether disappeared. 
Starting from the west (left side) we have Aquarius, as a 
man holding an inverted bucket, (2) a two-headed figure 
seated, (3) pisces, the mystic fishes, (4) a man seated and 
warming himself at the fire, (5) a female seated and holding 
an inverted crozier in either hand (this has disappeared, 
and a bunch of foliage occupies its place), (6) Gemini, two 
figures holding hands, (7) a figure leading an animal (now 
gone), (8) two examples of the antique ornament, (9) Aries, 
(10) figure with spade, (n) Leo (now moved to 13), (12) 
antique, at the apex, (13) Cancer (now moved to 14), (14) 
figure lopping a tree (now 13), (15) Taurus, (16) a figure 
with bags, (17) Virgo, (18) a figure amongst vines, (19) 
a man holding a pair of balances, Libra (not now decipher- 
able), (20) figure plucking grapes and with pig, (21) Scorpio, 
(22) figure with hatchet and pig, (23) Sagittarius, (24) a 
king seated at a table, (2$) animal with goat's head and 
dragon's body and tail, Capricornus. On the outer order 


is a twining stem with single leaves alternately on either 
side, and an engaged roll on the angle. On the next order 
are twenty- two monster-heads on an angle roll. Some have 
tongues of foliage, one a head in its mouth, another a double 
face ; all are varied. On the next order is a row of nine- 
teen monsters, &c., mostly within beaded medallions. Start- 
ing from the west we find: (i) a wyvern, (2) an animal 
biting, (3) ? an animal, not now discernible, (4) a man with 
umbrella-shaped shield, (5) a human head with two beaded 
bodies, (6) a centaur, (7) a dragon with smaller animal on 
its back, (8) a bunch of foliage, (9) a dragon holding a 
short sword, (10) at apex, a dragon, (u) two figures seated, 
(12) a dragon, (13) a dragon, (14), a goat blowing a horn, 
(15) female figure holding a branch in each hand, (16) a 
griffin, (17) a bunch of foliage and bit of beaded guilloche, 
(18) a griffin, (19) a goat. On the next order are four- 
teen grotesques, viz., from left side, a plain stone, then 
(i) a dragon biting a tree, (2) a man with drawn sword 
astride on a monster, (3) a centaur fighting a dragon, 
(4) a griffin, (5) two birds on either side of a tree, 
(6) a man fighting a bear or lion, (7) two dragons, (8) 
man riding on a monster and holding its tail up, (9) a 
bird, (10) a bird and animal fighting, (u) a man killing 
a lion, (12) a dragon and lion facing each other, (13) a 
goat and man facing each other, (14) a man riding an 
animal. All these are on an angle roll. One may wonder 
whether any special symbolism is intended in these two 
orders, or whether the several subjects are the outcome of 
the inventive genius of the mason who carved them. The 
inner order is much worn and has foliage on the face, and 
triple engaged roll on the soffit. On either side of the 
central roll are beaded circles bisected by the outer rolls 
and with foliage between. To the inner order are two 
engaged shafts with quirk between and beaded inverted 
trefoils on the capitals. The abacus is enriched with the 
antique, pellets, and scroll. There are shafts to the 
next orders, but to the outer are piers with double band 




of zigzag carried down them. The capitals have all been 
carved with figures, &c., but some have perished. On 
the outer, on left, may be the contest of St. George on 
foot and the Dragon. There are also various dragons, a 
merman, and on inner but one on right jEsop's fable of 
the Fox and the Crane. The whole is worthy of attentive 
study as an excellent example of the singular designs 
affected by the twelfth-century sculptors. 

The south doorway of Alne Church (Fig. 13) has been 
moved about, but now probably occupies its original position. 
It has been badly restored. The outer order has nineteen 
voussoirs, but many of these are new, in a different kind 
of stone to the original ones, and probably not copies of 
those which were previously there. The series must have 
been a specially interesting one, as it comprised a represen- 
tation of the mediaeval bestiaries, the only instance of this 
subject on the doorwa3 r s. Illustrations of the nine remaining 
original voussoirs are given by J. Romilly Allen, in his 
work on Early Christian Symbolism, p. 347. Each sub- 
ject is under a semicircular beaded arch, on which the 
name of the creature intended is, or has been, inscribed. 
On the left is a fox on its back and two birds approaching 
it, the name " vulpis " above. On the next, an animal 
attacking a dragon, name " panthera " above ; then an 
eagle, with name " aquila " above ; then an animal with 
leaf tongue, and name "hiena" above ; then a bird on 
the bed of a sick man, and the name " caladri " above ; 
next comes an animal biting a leaf, no name visible. The 
next eight voussoirs, with one mutilated exception, are new, 
with a cross, fan, sheaves, &c., carved on them. On the 
next is a dragon, no inscription visible ; and then a male 
and female figure with flames around them, and name 
"Terobolem" above, to illustrate the two stones which 
produced fire. The next is effaced. On the next are two 
men in a boat, and the name " aspido " for the whale above. 
This, however, is not represented. On the lowest, on east, is 
a winged animal, a lion or a bull, without inscription. 


This order is set on a course of the double cone 
moulding, with triple bands between each cone, a form 
of ornamentation rarely found out of East Anglia, though 
it occurs on the chancel arch of Helmsley Church in this 
county ; there is beaded foliage on the soffit of this 
order. In the next order we find a series of fifteen 
beaded medallions enclosing animals, &c., viz., from left : 
(i) the Lamb and Cross, (2), (3), and (4) animals devour- 
ing foliage, (5) a bull, (6) a man killing an animal, (7) 
? a tortoise, (8) and (9) new, (10) obliterated, (11) a 
bird, the pelican vulning its breast, (12) a lion, (13) an 
eagle, (14) a man killing a pig, (15) a dragon with goat's 
head. There is a roll to the inner order. The abacus 
on the right is ornamented with beaded and interlaced 
scroll foliage, a mermaid, and sea monster. On the capital 
is an inverted head with goat's horns, and beaded interlacing 
foliage coming from the mouth ; below the shaft is another 
capital, each capital having a cable band below. On the 
left side the abacus is plain, but the capital is carved in 
similar fashion to that on right. There is an engaged 
jamb shaft to the inner order on each side. 

The south doorway of Bishop Wilton Church has been 
restored. It has a hoodmould, and then an outer order with 
series of curious subjects, viz., a figure warming its hands, 
the Lamb and Cross, a knight on horseback, dragons, a lion 
blowing a trumpet, another lion playing the cymbals, the 
four Evangelists, the mystic fishes, Sagittarius shooting at 
a head, a man stabbing a lion, a monkey playing the horn, 
a coiled-up serpent, &c., some mixed up with interlaced 
foliage. On the next order is a row of twenty-one beak- 
heads on a roll. On the soffit is a double half-roll with 
beaded medallions, the intermediate spaces ornamented with 
foliage. There are deeply cut roses on the abacus, beaded 
foliage, semicircles, &c., on the capitals, and three main 
shafts and a double engaged inner one on each side, with 
chevron bands and beading on the bases. 

At Healaugh the south doorway (Fig. 14) presents us 


with another very fine example. It has a hoodmould and 
three recessed orders. On the hoodmould is a course of bold 
zigzag with two smaller bands overlapping on either side. 
At the apex within an oblong frame is a figure seated, not 
nimbed, nor in the act of giving the benediction. He 
appears to be holding a book or some other object in the 
left hand. On the outer order is a row of twenty quaint 
objects on an angle roll ; starting from left : ( I ) a bearded 
human head, (2) a head with foliaged tongue, (3) an animal 
with foliage coming out of the mouth, (4) a horned animal, 
(5) a bearded human head, (6) broken, ?two figures 
tumbling, (7) an animal, head downwards, (8) a woman 
also head downwards, (9) a group of three figures, viz. 
a man and woman, with smaller figure between them 
adoring, (10) at apex, a male and female figure seated, 
perhaps the Coronation of the Virgin, (il) a man and 
woman kneeling in adoration of the last subject, one 
perhaps holding a key, (12) a female figure, upside down, 
(13) a bird, (14) two figures, upside down, (15) a monster- 
head, with hands holding foliage, (16) a monster-head, 

(17) a bearded human head, with cross on forehead, 

(18) and (20) an animal with foliage coming from the 
mouth, and (19) a bearded human head. On the next order 
is a row of 28 beak-heads, on an angle roll, the beaks 
being pierced with small holes. On the inner order is 
a double engaged roll separated by a pointed member on 
the soffit. The abacus on the left side is ornamented 
below the outer order with interlaced scroll foliage, below 
the middle with a human figure and inverted tree, and 
below the inner with a head at the angle and foliage 
coming from the mouth. On east side, below the inner 
order, is a head, &c., similar to that on west ; below the 
middle, a human figure and inverted tree ; and below the 
outer two semicircles on each face. The capitals are 
elaborately carved, the outer on each side with a head 
with interlacing scroll foliage coming from the mouth at 
the angle, the middle on each side, with an animal on 


either side of the tree, and the inner with a tree with 
interlacing scroll foliage. There are two bold shafts to 
the outer orders, and the double engaged shafts with 
pointed member between carried down the jambs of the 
inner order. The south chancel doorway is a good speci- 
men of the transitional Norman style, with head at apex, 
keel-shaped moulding, and acanthus on capitals. 

At Wighill the south doorway (Fig. 15) within a porch 
is also very fine and interesting. It has a hoodmould and 
three recessed orders. On the hoodmould is a band of 
zigzag on angle, flanked by two courses of smaller zigzag on 
either side. On the outer order is a row of twenty beak- 
heads on a roll, some being broader and larger than those 
at Healaugh. The next order has a chamfered edge 
with seventeen subjects on the chamfer, viz., from left : 
(i) an animal astride on a fish, (2) a dog and boar 
fighting, (3) a quaint human head, (4) an eagle, (5) an 
animal devouring foliage, (6) ? two birds fighting, (7) a 
quaint head, (8) a monkey's head, (9) a monster-head, 
(10) a beak-head and bird, (n) two beak-heads beak to 
beak, (12) a woman with goose on her shoulder, (13) a 
human head, (14) a man with branch on his shoulder, (15) 
a hare's head, (16) a man with axe fighting against a lion, 
(17) a dragon, mutilated. The inner order has two roll 
mouldings, with a pointed member between on the soffit, 
and carried down the jambs. The abacus is chamfered 
with the star ornament on the upper part. There are 
two shafts on each side to the outer orders. The capitals 
are all ornamented ; on the outer, on east, is a mutilated 
figure, head downwards, holding a sword, and a male and 
female figure on either side ; on the next a winged animal 
on the angle, with scroll foliage coming from the mouth, 
and on the inner on each side, varied foliage ; on the 
middle, on west, oak leaves and acorns, and the antique 
ornament above, and on the outer a figure at the angle, 
slightly clad, with a male and female figure holding his 
hand on either side. On the east side the outer shaft 



has been cut away for the stoup, which appears to be 
of early date. 

Another noble doorway of the distinctive Yorkshire 
type is that within a porch on the south side of Fishlake 
Church (Fig. 16). There is a tradition that this was brought 
from Roche Abbey, and it certainly is not now in its original 
situation. It is deeply recessed in four orders. It has on 
the outer order a series of thirteen large beaded medallions 
enclosing figure subjects, viz., from the left, two female 
figures each pushing a cross down the throat of a prostrate 
figure below her ; on next four, pairs of figures seated or 
standing, then Christ and St. Peter, then a figure giving 
the benediction ; on next five, pairs of figures seated, and 
on right two female figures pressing crosses into prostrate 
figures as on other side. The next course seems to allude 
to the sport of hunting. On the left are two human beings, 
one carrying a coffin, and a demon with rake below, then 
come four animals one behind the other advancing towards 
the apex of the arch. There is perhaps an altar, and the 
next animal on the east side has his paw on it, next 
comes an animal crouching down, then a hunter leading an 
animal, then two hounds, then a figure with sword or club 
in left hand and an animal by the right, and then foliage. 

On the next order are two figures, the (?) Salutation in 
the centre, and a series of thirty-six heads of demons, 
human beings, some of soldiers, with leaves within a 
beaded frame below ; on the inner order is beaded foliage, 
and the pointed member with quarter round on each side 
on the soffit. The abacus has the quarter round above 
the chamfered portion. The capitals are ornamented, on 
left: (i) two knights tilting, (2) a monk rowing in a boat, 
head at angle, foliage on east side, (3) Sagittarius and a 
Dragon ; on inner left and right beaded foliage, then (2) a 
double-bodied griffin, (3) an angel and a demon fighting 
for a human soul, and (4) two dragons fighting all the 
figures are mixed up with beaded foliage. There is a 
zigzag or cable band below each capital. 



The south doorway (Fig. 17) of Birkin Church, when 
visited in 1878, was partly concealed by a porch and green 
with damp. It is a grand specimen, and is now within an 
open porch, and it is hoped, more properly cared for. There 
is an outer course of twenty-four medallions, enclosing 
various animals, dragons, concentric circles, &c. ; at the 
apex is the Agnus Dei with Cross. On the soffit is the 
lozenge ornament. Then comes a course of raised and 
recessed zigzag with lozenge on the soffit ; then a row of 
nineteen beak-heads (there is a blank space for one more) 
on an angle roll, the third, seventh, and sixteenth from the 
west is a bearded head. The inner order is plain, with 
double half-round and quirk between on the soffit. There 
are on each side three main shafts and an inner double 
shaft engaged to the jambs. On the abacus on west is a 
pattern of intersecting lines and of interlacing scroll foliage, 
on the inner portion on each side is a curious design of 
interlacing pointed ovals or vesicas, and then on east side 
beaded scroll, interlacing foliage, and reticulated ornament. 
On the outer capital on each side is a double row of the 
embattled "tau" pattern, and on the inner, on east, two 
dragons above foliage. The others have semicircles, 
acanthus, and other varieties of foliage. 

The south doorway (Fig. 18) of Bray ton Church was till 
1878 within a porch which cut through the head of the arch, 
but fortunately a new porch has been built, and this noble 
portal is no longer partially concealed. The arch is very 
lofty, being nearly n feet high to the apex of the inner 
order. It has a hoodmould and four recessed orders. On 
the hoodmould is a double quarter-round and hollow. On 
the outer order is, on an angle roll, a row of thirty-five very 
quaint heads, the majority being beak-heads, but there are 
also three human heads, two hares, and one bird. On the 
next order is a series of beaded medallions enclosing various 
figures on a flat surface, viz., from west: (i) a lion and dog 
fighting, (2) foliage with a man and dragon, (3) two lions 
fighting, (4) a knight on horseback, (5) and (6) two knights 




tilting, (7) a rose with beaded concentric petals, (8) vesica- 
shaped, the subject uncertain, (9) the Agnus Dei with Cross, 
(10) a hunter, (u) dog and boar fighting, (12) a female 
figure, (13) Sagittarius, (14) female figure with palm, (15) 
defaced, (16) a man astride of a lion Samson or David, 
and (17) a dragon. On the soffit is a band of lozenges 
enclosing pellets. On the next order is a course of raised 
and recessed zigzag with lozenges enclosing fir-cones on 
the soffit. The inner order is plain with the usual double 
half-round and quirk between on the soffit. The abacus 
is chamfered, the upper part only being richly carved, with 
angle heads, having foliage coming from the mouth, a fan 
pattern, and beaded guilloche. There are three nook shafts 
to the outer orders terminating on a plinth about 18 inches 
above the ground, and double engaged shaft to the inner 
order. The capitals are ornamented with foliage, one on 
west has a head with foliage coming from its mouth, and 
animals feeding on it, another on east has two figures, one 
being St. Peter with key, the other probably St. Paul with 
book, under arches. There are three votive crosses on 
the jambs. Traces of colour were found on some of the 

An equally fine doorway is that within the south porch 
(Fig. 19) of Riccall Church. The arch has a hoodmould and 
three recessed orders. On the hoodmould, very irregularly 
spaced, are fifteen beaded medallions enclosing roses. On 
the outer order is a row of small pellets, and then of twenty- 
four beak-heads on a roll, all in excellent preservation. 
On the next order are sixteen curious figures, partly 
carved on an angle roll, viz., from left: (i) two heads, one 
crowned, with foliage coming from the mouths, (2) a man 
seated with his legs crossed, (3) a large head with foliated 
tongue and another head, (4) a dragon, (5) a lion curled 
up, (6) a figure observing it, (7) a bearded head, (8) a man 
in beaded costume, probably a bishop, (9) a figure side- 
ways, (10) a monster swallowing a man, (i i) a male figure 
in front of a seated one, (12) a female holding a palm or 


sceptre, (13) a soldier with battle-axe and large shield, (14) 
a bearded head, (15) a wolf biting a stalk, and (16) an 
inverted tree. On the inner order is a course of very 
small inverted semicircles, and then a series of curious 
figures, viz., from west: (i) the contest between St. 
Michael and Satan, (2) a serpent twined round a tree, and 
perhaps Adam and Eve, (3) a man holding some object, 
(4) a female, (5) another female with two tails, a mermaid, 
(6) at apex, a dove descending, (7) large lion with foliated 
tail, (8) an animal playing the harp, (9) a goat dancing, 
(10) beaded circle and geometrical pattern, (u) beaded 
intersecting semicircles enclosing foliage. On the soffit 
is a row of pellets in a hollow, and a half-round moulding. 
The abacus is chamfered with quarter round on the angle. 
There are detached shafts to the two outer orders, and 
double engaged half shafts to the inner order. The capitals 
are enriched with carving, viz. the outer on left with 
foliage, the next with a head and interlaced foliage, the 
inner with plain scalloping, the inner on right with beaded 
inverted semicircles, the next with a head and a figure 
adoring it on either side, St. Peter with keys being on 
the left and St. Paul with book on the right, the outer with 
a head having three crosses above and interlaced foliage on 
either side. 

Perhaps the finest example of the special Yorkshire type 
is the south doorway (Fig. 20) of Stillingfleet Church. This 
is set within a porch-like projection and is deeply recessed, 
with a hoodmould and five reveals. On the hoodmould 
is a hollow and small engaged angle roll. On the outer 
order are twenty-seven sculptured figures. Twenty-two 
of these are leaves and varied foliage within beaded semi- 
circles, and with a kind of foliaged tongue on an angle 
roll; the other five show: (i) to left of apex, a human 
head with foliated tongue, (2) a beak-head, (3) a tree, 
(4) a rose within a beaded circle and foliage below, (5) 
two monster-heads with foliage from mouths set on the 
roll below. On the next order is a course of bead, and 




thirty-six beak-heads, some in pairs on an angle roll. On 
the next is a band of zigzag enclosing foliage within the 
chevrons on face and soffit of the arch, and forming 
lozenges on the angle ; on the next is zigzag on face and 
soffit, and lozenges enclosing nail-heads on the angle. On 
the inner order is a series of studded ornaments, viz., from 
left: (i) a head, (2) a beaded circle enclosing a rose, (3) 
an animal with foliated tail, (4) a tree, (5) an animal 
devouring fruit, (6) a large head and an animal below, 
(7) a beak-head, (8) a crowned head, (9) a bird or dragon 
above two animals, (10) two heads and foliage, (i i) a wheel 
enclosing intersecting lines, (12) a head with another head 
in its mouth, (13) two beak-heads, (14) two human heads 
between two monster-heads, and (15) a rose within a 
beaded circle. A band enclosing beads, as on the outer 
course but one, runs round above the sculptures, and there 
are pellets within a hollow on the soffit. The abacus is 
grooved with quarter-round on angle. There are detached 
shafts to the four outer orders, and double engaged shafts 
to the inner order. The capitals are all ornamented with 
varied scalloping, inverted trefoils, and scroll foliage, in 
three instances coming from the mouth of a head at the 
angle ; on two are animals amidst foliage. There is a beaded 
or cable band below each. The door is very ancient, the 
ironwork being probably Norman. There are quaint figures 
of Adam and Eve, a Viking ship, and serpents on it. 

The last doorway of this series, though slightly differing 
in its character from the others, is the very interesting 
south portal (Fig. 21) of Kirkburn Church. It has a hood- 
mould and three recessed orders. On the hoodmould we 
find a series of rather quaint sculptures, viz., from left : 
(i) a long-necked animal, (2) some small beaded circles 
and a beaded oval, (3) two fishes with their mouths 
joined, (4) an animal like a weasel, (5) a dragon, (6) two 
cats, (7) an animal, perhaps a horse ; (8) at the apex, a 
recumbent figure, (9) a large dragon, (10) three birds 
pecking two, one, and three apples respectively, (11) two 


animals plucking fruit, (12) two birds devouring an apple, 
(13) a bunch of foliage, (14) two foxes. On the outer 
order is a row of twenty-two beak-heads on an angle roll ; 
then a course of the zigzag on face and soffit, forming 
deeply cut lozenges on the angle, and with various inter- 
laced lines, leaves, circles, a bird, serpent, &c., within the 
chevrons. The inner order is segmental headed, with several 
courses of zigzag on the face, and recessed and raised 
zigzag, and a band of raised lozenges on the soffit. Between 
this and the previous order are several flat voussoirs filling 
in the space, with the sawtooth on the central one, and 
zigzag, square billets, wavy lines, a head, and other curious 
designs on the others. The abacus is massive and richly 
carved with the sawtooth, scroll with interlacing semi- 
circles and star below, then a scroll with star and grooved 
semicircles on the chamfered portion, then on right a 
pattern of hollow lozenges and triangles and foliage and 
open rings on the chamfered portion below, then chequy 
and lozenge with indented below, then interlaced pattern 
and lozenges containing stars and ovals alternately below, 
then a head and perhaps a bird. The capitals are also 
elaborately carved with varied foliage, the cable, a kind 
of double C (OC), ovals, an eight-rayed star within a circle, 
scallops, and a sort of fern-leaf pattern sculptured on them. 
There are three shafts on each side, the inner as usual 
engaged to the jamb. The north doorway is also good, 
with a roll moulding in arch, plain tympanum, and with 
varied star, lozenge, and zigzag on the abacus. 

It is difficult to assign an exact date to these typical 
Yorkshire examples. They do not appear to be of early 
character, and some probably are late and verging on the 
transitional period. For instance, at Stillingfleet is a north 
doorway with the dogtooth ornament and other late char- 
acteristics, which will shortly be referred to. At Healaugh 
the south chancel doorway is also late, with the keel-shaped 
moulding and hollow on either side to the outer order. It 
may perhaps be safely asserted that they were constructed 




between the years 1150 and 1170, a period of great 
religious activity in the county, when many of the great 
monasteries, of which we fortunately have still such magni- 
ficent remains, had recently been founded. 

We find a considerable number of transitional Norman 
doorways throughout the county constructed between the 
years 1170 and 1210. With very few exceptions they 
retain the semicircular arch associated with mouldings 
commonly found in buildings of the Early English style. 
This is particularly noticeable in the monasteries, to which 
attention will be specially directed, as it is fair to assume 
that here we may reasonably look for the inventive genius 
which worked out the design and produced the first speci- 
mens of the succeeding styles, and assign an earlier date to 
examples there than we can to corresponding ones in ordi- 
nary parish churches. Some few have the dogtooth orna- 
ment, a special characteristic of Early English work, while 
others have the keel-shaped moulding, which also indicates 
a period late in the twelfth or early in the thirteenth cen- 
tury. Several exhibit the later form of abacus and the 
more advanced character of the foliage on the capitals. 

In the Yorkshire Archaological Journal, vol. xii. p. 436, 
is a reference to the doorway at the west end of the north 
aisle of Cawood Church, " consisting of a lofty semicircular 
arch supported on tall shafts with capitals verging very 
much towards Early English." So again, on page 320 of the 
same volume, we read that, at St. Martin's Church, Mickle- 
gate, York, " on the north side is a doorway of transition 
from Norman to E.E. with nail-heads in the head." At 
Ferry Fryston the south doorway has the nail-head on 
the hoodmould and foliated capitals ; while at Hatfield the 
west doorway is fine and lofty, with nail-heads on the hood- 
mould, which terminates on the heads of animals, three 
plain recessed orders and shafts, the outer keel-shaped, 
and foliated capitals, one having pellets between the foliage. 
The south doorway is plain, with a hoodmould enriched 
with a double row of nail-heads and the billet ornament. 


At Bawtry, Long Marston, and St. Mary, Bishop-Hill Senior, 
York, are late doorways, with the keel-shaped moulding in 
arch and foliated capitals. At Hedon the south transept 
doorway is a very late example of the semicircular arch, 
with a roll and kind of diamond frette on the hoodmould, 
and three recessed orders with the keel-shaped moulding. 
It has the late form of undercut abacus with banded shafts 
and varied stiff-leaved foliage on the capitals. The south 
doorway at Huntington has plain arch, one shaft on each 
side, and flat acanthus on the capitals. The south doorway 
of Filey Church is a large and fine specimen, with hollow on 
the chamfered portion of the hoodmould, and four recessed 
orders with roll and keel-shaped mouldings. There are 
detached shafts to the three outer orders and engaged shaft 
to the inner order, all with a late form of capital. The 
Rev. J. Fawcett, in his Church Rides in the Neighbourhood 
of Scarborough, p. 168, states that "in the centre of the 
arch has been an effigy or figure, probably of St. Oswald, 
the patron saint of the church." This no longer remains. 
The south doorway of Conisbrough Church is an ornate 
example of the transitional period, with a hoodmould having 
four-leaved roses of the dogtooth type in a hollow, and 
three recessed orders ; on the outer is a small half-round, 
and a keel-shaped moulding on the angle with hollow on 
either side ; on the middle is the raised zigzag on the angle 
and raised zigzag on either side, with a hollow between the 
angle and outer zigzag order ; the inner order is plain, with 
chamfered edge to arch and jambs. There is a hollow and 
roll on the abacus, and two shafts with bunch foliage on 
the capitals. 

At Great Driffield the north and south doorways have 
dogtooth on the hoodmould, keel-shaped mouldings, and 
foliated capitals ; the south chancel doorway has a row of 
leaves of an uncommon type on the hoodmould, which ter- 
minates in monster-heads, a hollow, filleted, and keel-shaped 
order in arch, and stiff-leaved foliage on the capitals. The 
north doorway at Stillingfleet has the dogtooth on the 


hoodmould, then a double row of zigzag on face and soffit 
of the arch, forming lozenges on the angle, which enclose a 
series of fir-cones, pellets, and one head, all being continued 
down the jambs without imposts to the ground. The south 
doorway of Bossall Church has four reveals, with the keel- 
shaped on the angle of the two outer and the roll on the 
angle of the two inner orders. There have been four shafts 
on each side with acanthus on the capitals. A band of the 
dogtooth ornament is carried down the jambs between 
the shafts. The doorway now forming the entrance to the 
almshouses in Bootham, York, is a very interesting ex- 
ample of this period. It has two rows of dogtooth on the 
hoodmould, then another course of dogtooth on the arch 
and carried down the jambs to the ground, then a hollow, 
and on angle of inner order, another course of dogtooth, 
and roll on the soffit. 

The south doorway of St. William's Chapel, once exist- 
ing on the bridge at York, but, alas ! now pulled down, 
must have been an unusually elegant specimen of very late 
Norman workmanship, if we may judge by the fragments 
still remaining in the York Museum, and the beautiful draw- 
ing by Halfpenny in the Fragmenta Vetusta. The arch 
is recessed in three orders. On the outer is a beaded 
band of the zigzag of the peculiar type found at Selby, 
with an additional series of single chevrons, each chevron 
enclosing a pellet. There is also a course of beading and 
a roll at the angle. To this order are two engaged shafts 
with foliage to the bell-shaped capitals and undercut rounded 
abacus. On the middle order are beaded oval medallions, 
interlacing so as to form an irregular chain on an angle 
roll, which is continued without impost to the ground. 
On the inner order are bold, deeply-cut lozenges on face 
and soffit, the latter enclosing roses and leaves. To this 
order are coupled shafts on each side, the outer on east 
having a fillet band down it. There is flat foliage on 
the capitals and rounded undercut abacus. The abacus 
and capitals are quite of thirteenth-century design, but the 


mouldings of the arch are excellent though late Norman. 
The chain ornament is comparatively rare. 

The pointed transitional doorways are uncommon in 
Yorkshire. There are two or three plain examples at 
St. Leonard's Hospital at York. At Steeton Chapel, now 
taken down, the west doorway had the indented on the 
hoodmould and two reveals ; on the outer order is the 
keel-shaped, on the inner a roll with hollow on either 
side. The abacus is undercut, and of the late type. 
There have been shafts with foliated capitals to the outer 
order ; the inner order has the roll moulding on the arch 
and down the jambs to the ground. 

Many fine examples remain amidst the beautiful monastic 
ruins for which Yorkshire is so justly renowned. Almost 
all are of late date, but still retain the old semicircular 
arch, though at Fountains, Kirkstall, and elsewhere, we find 
them associated, and no doubt coeval with arcades of 
pointed arches, as in so many other instances, the pointed 
arch having been adopted for the structural work, while 
the round arch was retained in the doorways and other 
ornamental portions. 

The grimy but beautiful ruins of Kirkstall Abbey are 
almost entirely the remains of work executed in the second 
half of the twelfth century. In the cloister court we find 
a large number of semicircular headed doorways, opening 
to the various domestic buildings of this once important 
monastic institution. Most of these are comparatively 
plain with roll mouldings in arch, shafts, and scalloped 
capitals. The two main arches opening to the chapter- 
house are the most important, with hoodmould and three 
recessed orders. A continuous roll moulding, terminating 
on a monster-head above the capital on south side, forms 
the dripstone to the arch. On the outer order is the 
half-round on face and keel-shaped on the angle, to the 
middle is a hollow and bold angle roll, and to the inner 
triple engaged roll. The abacus is chamfered. There 
have been shafts to each order, but most of these have 


disappeared. The capitals are scalloped. Four fine 
doorways still open to the nave of the church, and 
there is a smaller one to the north transept. The south- 
east doorway from the cloister is lofty and fine, with 
the half-round string-course carried as a hoodmould round 
the arch, and three recessed orders, the two outer with 
an angle roll moulding, the inner with triple engaged 
roll. The chamfered abacus has the half-round on upper 
portion. The capitals are large, with varied scalloping 
and fluting. The outer shafts are gone; to the inner 
order are three shafts engaged to the jambs. On the 
interior side is a small roll with billets on either side on 
the hoodmould, and an engaged roll with a kind of fillet 
band on it on the arch. The exterior arch of the south- 
west doorway is very similar in its mouldings. On the 
interior side is a double row of billet on the hoodmould, 
and a roll moulding in arch and jambs. The great west 
doorway is very fine, with the half-round string-course 
forming the hoodmould, and five recessed orders. The 
two outer and two inner have varied forms, sizes, and 
sections of the roll moulding ; the middle is enriched with 
a triple course of the out-turned zigzag. The abacus and 
capitals are similar to those on the south doorways. All 
the shafts to the outer orders are gone. Double engaged 
shafts with pointed member between, remain attached to 
the jambs supporting the inner order. Above the doorway 
is a triangular pediment with keel-shaped on the angles, 
which are supported on lofty shafts, and within the 
pediment are three semicircular interlacing arches, with 
five shafts and scalloped and fluted capitals. The north 
doorway (Fig. 22), now walled up, has also had a pediment 
above, but this has been mainly destroyed. It is also a 
grand specimen of late Norman work. It has an outer 
order of very bold frette or embattled carried round the arch 
and down the jambs to the ground, and three recessed 
inner orders. On the outer is a bold angle roll, on the 
next a triple row of out-turned zigzag, and on the inner 


the triple engaged roll on the soffit and attached to the 
jambs. The shafts to the outer orders are now gone, but 
the capitals remain with fluted and scalloped ornament. 

At Fountains Abbey we also find a large number ot 
late semicircular headed arched doorways. Two or three 
are of an earlier type than the rest. In no case can 
we discover any of those ornaments so common at this 
period, but a severe simplicity, no doubt in accord with 
the sentiments of the founders, characterises the whole of 
the buildings. The great west doorway of the church is 
of grand dimensions, and it has a hoodmould and six 
recessed orders ; but the roll, varied in size and character, 
is the only moulding employed. In some instances the 
keel-shaped is also introduced, and this occurs in the 
very fine arches forming the entrances to the chapter- 
house and refectory. Another very late but more ornate 
doorway is the south entrance of the Church of Jervaulx 
Abbey. This is much mutilated, but it has several recessed 
orders, and a course of small dogtooth in the arch and 
larger dogtooth down the jambs. The abacus and capitals 
are quite of the Early English style. 

At Old Malton Priory Church the arch of the western 
entrance (Fig. 23) is a fine specimen of transitional work. 
Like those already mentioned, it is semicircular and deeply 
recessed with a hoodmould and five reveals. It is set 
within a porch-like projection. On the hoodmould is a 
groove and small roll. On the outer order is the keel- 
shaped on the angle and a band of dogtooth in a hollow 
on either side, on the next double keel-shaped, on the 
next a very beautiful example of the diamond frette, on 
the next double keel-shaped, and on the inner the keel- 
shaped on the angle and band of dogtooth on each side. 
The abacus is undercut. The shafts to the four outer 
orders are cylindrical ; that to the inner is keel-shaped with 
a band of dogtooth carried down the jambs. A continuous 
band is carried across the shafts about half-way down, and 
thence north and south as a string-course along the west 




wall. The capitals are all enriched with beautiful stiff- 
leaved foliage. A doorway, formerly in the south aisle but 
now on the north side, is of earlier character, with pointed 
member and half-round on angle of hoodmould, then seven- 
teen beak-heads on a roll and incised zigzag above, on the 
outer, and hollow on face and two half-rounds on the soffit 
of the inner order ; a chamfered abacus, one detached shaft 
to outer and two engaged respond shafts to inner order 
with capitals having varied scalloping or fluting. There is 
another transitional doorway on south-east of cloisters with 
the keel-shaped moulding. At Easby Abbey is a doorway 
with hoodmould and two recessed orders. On the chamfer 
of the hoodmould is the antique pattern, and on the two 
recessed archivolt mouldings a series of beak-heads much 
weather-worn, twenty-four on the outer and sixteen on the 
inner order. The abacus and capitals (the shafts are gone) 
are of the Early English type. 

The west doorway (Fig. 24) of Nun Monkton Priory 
Church is another very rich example of the transitional 
period. It is set within a porch-like projection, and has a 
triangular pediment above, having large pellets in a hollow of 
the ridge on either side, supported on small shafts. Within 
the pediment is a trefoil-headed niche on shafts with late 
capitals. The arch has a hoodmould and five recessed 
orders. The hoodmould has a hollow in place of the usual 
plain chamfer. On the outer order is a deeply undercut 
zigzag on face and soffit, each chevron enclosing a leaf, and 
with the points set on an angle keel-shaped, but not quite 
meeting. On the next order is a small keel-shaped, and 
larger keel-shaped on the angle, with hollow on either 
side ; on the next is a hollow and keel-shaped on the angle ; 
on the next is a course of zigzag on face and soffit, the 
points meeting on an angle keel-shaped, and forming deeply 
undercut lozenges, each chevron enclosing a leaf fan and 
other devices ; on the inner on an angle keel-shaped beaded 
zigzag on face and soffit, each chevron enclosing a rose 
or foliage. The abacus is chamfered ; there are four 


cylindrical shafts on each side and an engaged keel-shaped 
to the inner order, each with a small subsidiary shaft be- 
tween, the main shafts having capitals with beautiful and 
varied stiff-leaved foliage. There are three more door- 
ways on the south side, the two western being plain, the 
eastern one somewhat similar to the main doorway at the 
west end. 

At Sinningthwaite Priory is a very beautiful doorway 
(Fig. 25), forming the entrance to the present farmhouse, 
with a roll moulding on the hoodmould terminating on 
monster-heads ; then on outer order a series of bold undercut 
lozenges interlacing and set on an angle roll with beading on 
the lozenges and leaves filling up the spaces outside them. 
The inner order is plain with chamfered edge to arch and 
jambs. To the outer order is a chamfered abacus, and 
one shaft on each side with foliage on the capitals, that 
on the right ornamented with beading. On the interior 
side the arch has an angle roll with hollow on either side. 
At St. Mary's Abbey, York, the arches opening to the 
chapter-house must have been most beautiful with no 
less than eight engaged shafts on each side (all have 
been destroyed), having elegant foliage on the capitals, 
and backed up by piers enriched with zigzag enclosing 
leaves, and forming lozenges with roses and foliage in the 
centre (Fig. 26). Some of the arches have been put together 
and are now in the museum, exhibiting beautiful combinations 
of the zigzag, forming lozenges, &c. At Kirkham Priory, 
in the cloisters is a late and highly enriched doorway (Fig. 
27) with a hoodmould and three recessed orders. The hood- 
mould is chamfered both ways with pellets on the chamfered 
portions and sunk roses on the main face. On the outer 
order are intersecting zigzag lines forming large lozenges 
set on an engaged roll. On the middle order is a course 
of elliptic or semicircular arched. The semicircles are 
arranged in pairs, the outer sides being continued so as 
to merge into a large rose set on a bold angle roll, the 
inner sides terminating on a trefoiled leaf in a hollow 




adjoining the roll. The inner order has a hollow and 
series of small pellets on the face and bold half-round 
on the soffit of the arch. The abacus is grooved and 
chamfered with a row of small roses on the chamfered 
portion. There have been shafts to the two outer orders, 
and engaged shafts, which still remain, to the inner order. 
The capitals are large with an early fluted design. Carried 
down the outer jamb on each side is a string of large 
sunk lozenges enclosing raised roses and with foliage 
filling up the spaces on each side. On the jambs between 
the outer and middle shafts are four circular medallions 
enclosing roses and joined by double bands, while a row 
of pellets is carried down the jambs between the middle 
and inner shafts. There is a cable band below the inner 
capital 'on 'the left side. At St. Martin's Priory, Rich- 
mond, the west doorway is another late example with 
a plain dripstone, triple row of out-turned zigzag in arch, 
massive abacus, one fluted capital on each side, the shafts 

By far the finest doorways of this period in Yorkshire 
remaining to us are the noble west and north portals of 
Selby Abbey. These have fortunately escaped uninjured 
by the recent disastrous conflagration, which played such 
havoc with this magnificent and venerable structure. The 
west doorway (Fig. 28) does not project, as in the case of 
most of the earlier examples, but is recessed in five orders 
right through the thickness of the wall. A string-course on 
either side is carried as a hoodmould round the arch, and is 
in the form of a half-round enriched with lozenges enclosing 
flowers and foliage. The arch mouldings are remarkable for 
the depth and delicacy of their carving. On the outer order 
is a double course of zigzag on face and soffit, the outer 
chevrons enclosing leaves, pellets, &c., the points of the 
inner meeting on an angle keel-shaped moulding, and 
forming deeply undercut lozenges. On the next order is a 
small engaged roll, and then the reticulated pattern set on 
a half-round moulding. On the next order is a double 


row of out-turned zigzag on a roll, the inner row enclosing 
foliage within the chevrons. On the next order is an 
elaborate application of the zigzag designs, forming an 
outer course of the diamond frette, and then of zigzag on 
face and soffit set on an angle keel-shaped, and forming 
deeply undercut lozenges. There is a leaf within each 
chevron. The inner order is enriched with a beautiful 
beaded diamond frette pattern, with roses and other orna- 
ment. To this order is a pair of shafts and single detached 
shafts to the other orders, all with plain abaci and foliage 
on the capitals. Above the doorway is an arcade of trefoil- 
headed arches with pellets in a hollow, supported on shafts 
and capitals similar to, and probably coeval with, those of 
the portal below. 

The north doorway is also very fine, and within a porch 
of the same date. The outer arch of the porch is semi- 
circular, with an undercut hoodmould continued east and 
west as a string-course, and two orders, with the keel-shaped 
on the angle and a hollow on either side. On either side 
of the main arch is a pointed arch with the hollow and 
angle keel-shaped. Above each of these is a trefoil-headed 
niche, similar to those on the west front. Above these, 
along the whole front, is an arcade of pointed arches with 
a hollow and angle keel-shaped. All these arches rest 
on detached shafts with plain abacus and foliated capitals. 
Within, the porch is groined and has an arcade of pointed 
arches on each side, corresponding with those on the out- 
side, and resting on shafts with similar foliated capi- 
tals. The inner doorway is very ornate, and resembles 
in its details that at the west end. It has a small hood- 
mould and four recessed orders. On the outer is the 
reticulated ornament ; on the next is the diamond frette, 
and two rows of zigzag forming a series of lozenges set 
on a keel-shaped moulding at the angle, and with all 
the spaces filled in with leaves ; on the next are two 
rows of bold out-turned zigzag, set on a roll, the inner 
row having leaves within the chevrons ; on the inner order 




is a beautiful diamond frette pattern, with beading, roses, 
and leaves. This rests on double shafts, the other orders 
on detached shafts, all with square abaci and foliated 
capitals. The date of these beautiful arches cannot be 
earlier than 1180. 

At Byland Abbey are several doorways. The three 
at the west end of the church are very late specimens of 
transitional work, and were probably erected about the 
end of the twelfth century. The central doorway is tre- 
foil-headed, with a band of dogtooth on the hoodmould, 
and four orders with numerous filleted, keel-shaped, and 
roll mouldings. The abacus is square on plan. There 
have been three detached shafts to the outer orders, with 
small shafts attached to the jambs between. The inner 
order is supported on double shafts. All the capitals are 
ornamented with the acanthus foliage. The south-west 
doorway is semicircular headed, with hoodmould having 
the zigzag on the terminations, and three recessed orders. 
The two outer have the keel-shaped on the angle and 
hollow on either side; the inner has a roll and a keel- 
shaped with a hollow on either side. The abacus is 
square on plan. The shafts are arranged as at Selby 
with plain bell-shaped capitals. The north-west doorway 
is obtusely pointed with a course of richly carved dog- 
tooth on the hoodmould, and three recessed orders with 
keel-shaped and roll mouldings. The capitals on the 
north side are plain, on the south are ornamented with 
the acanthus. 

At Rievaulx Abbey are plain semicircular-headed door- 
ways to the transepts of the church of the middle of the 
twelfth century, and one or two of the entrances to the 
domestic buildings are of this same date. The main entrance 
to the refectory is, however, of the transitional period, and 
a very fine example. It is semicircular-headed, with three 
orders, each having a roll with a fillet band and hollow 
on either side. These rest on a grooved and chamfered 
abacus and bell-shaped capitals, the middle ones enriched 



with foliage. A keel-shaped order has been carried down 
the jambs between each shaft, but is now much mutilated. 
The inner order has a chamfered member and engaged roll, 
and encloses a tympanum cut out into a trefoil, the roll 
moulding round the lower edge being very artistically 
carved. There are two engaged respond shafts on each 
side supporting this order. On the interior side the arch 
is semicircular with chamfered hoodmould, one order with 
a roll on the angle and hollow on either side, chamfered 
abacus, and one shaft with plain capital. There is a 
beautiful arcade resting on large brackets carried along 
the exterior wall on either side of the doorway. The 
south transept doorway at Roche Abbey has already 
been mentioned, and is of earlier character. 

The doorways on north of north transept and south 
of south transept of Ripon Cathedral are semicircular and 
of the late transitional period. The north doorway has 
three orders with varied roll mouldings, the inner with 
trefoiled head, and supported on shafts with richly carved 
acanthus on the capitals. The south doorway has five 
recessed orders with hollow and roll mouldings and a 
plain tympanum, supported on shafts with foliage on the 

It must be acknowledged, even from a hasty perusal 
of the foregoing somewhat imperfect sketch, that Yorkshire 
is notable for the number and excellence of its Norman 
doorways. There are three special points about these 
which the writer has endeavoured to emphasise. The 
first is the large number which exhibit beak-head mould- 
ing, with one or more rows of these grotesque sculptures, 
the symbolism of which is still imperfectly understood. 
The second is that series of fine portals, set within porch- 
like projections, with many deeply recessed orders, embel- 
lished with medallions containing figures and subjects in 
most cases difficult of interpretation. The third is the 
number of semicircular-headed doorways with mouldings 
commonly associated with the Early English style of the 



thirteenth century, but in these instances being almost 
certainly the work of the latter part of the twelfth cen- 
tury, and the first fruits of the inventive genius of those 
gifted men who, in the seclusion of the monasteries, were 
able to devise what they considered to be improvements 
in the architectural styles then existing around them. 
Well may Yorkshiremen be proud of the many magni- 
ficent specimens of the handiwork of the twelfth-century 
masons which have survived to the present day. May 
they deem it their duty and privilege to conserve them. 

The south doorway at Hartshead, visited since this paper was in 
type, has a series of saltires on the hoodmould, and two massive 
orders, on each of which are four courses of shallow zigzag on the 
face and soffit, and a bold zigzag on the angle. The abacus is also 
massive and chamfered with a zigzag band having a bead within 
each chevron on the main upper part. There are two large engaged 
shafts on each side, with plain scalloped capitals, the outer on each 
side with cable, band below, and large circular bases with zigzag 
band above. The doorway is of an early date. 


THE following is a list of churches and other buildings in the 
county which have come under the notice of the writer, with 
references to the various authorities in which they are mentioned. 
These do not include the brief notices to be found in Kelly's 
Directory \ Murray's Handbook for Yorkshire, and other guide- 

The following full title is shortened for convenience : 
" Charles E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana and Lintels 
with Figure or Symbolical Sculpture still or till recently existing 
in the Churches of Great Britain." 

Adel Church * 

The Builder, i. 207. 

Reliquary, New Series, i. 91. 

Rev. H. T. Simpson, History of the Parish of Adel. 

Churches of Yorkshire, vol. i. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, pp. 259, 262, 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. Ivi. 

* Those personally visited by C. E. Keyser, 


Aldbrough in Holderness Church * 

Poulson, History and Antiquities of Holderness, ii. i. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. i. 

Andrews' Church Treasury, p. 194. 
Alne Church * 

Reliquary, New Series, i. 167. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, pp. 256, 330, 
347, 3 68 > 386, 387. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. 2. 

British Arch&ological Association fairnal, New Series, vol. 

xiv. p. 258, fig. 7. 
Amotherby Church.* 
Ampleforth Church.* 
Appleton-le-Street Church.* 
Ardsley, East, Church 

Banks, Walks in Yorkshire, Wakefield, and Neighbourhood, 

P- 539- 
Askham Bryan Church * 

Sheahan and Whellan, History and Topography of the City 

of York, &c., i. 652. 
Askham Richard Church * 

Sheahan and Whellan, History and Topography of the City 

of York, &c., i. 652. 
Austerfield Chapel * 

Archaologia, xlvii. 174. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, p. 285. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, c., pp. xxxix., 

3, fig. 61. 
Ayton, East, Church* 

Rev. J. Fawcett, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood oj 

Scarborough, p. 15. 
Ayton, Great, Church. 

Bardsey Church.* 

Barmston Church.* 
Barton-le-Street Church * 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, pp. 256, 274, 

33> 33 r 3 68 - 
C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., pp. Ixix., Ixxii. 

Bawtry Church.* 
Bempton Church 

Prickett, Priory Church of Bridlington, p. 53. 
Beverley, St. Mary's Church * 

Associated Architectural Societies' Reports, viii. 92. 
Bilton Church.* 
Birkin Church * 

Churches of Yorkshire, vol. i. 


Bossall Church. 
Bracewell Church 

Whitaker, History of Craven, 2nd ed., p. 82. 
Braithwell Church * 

Archfeologia, xlvii. 174. 
Bramwith, Kirk, Church.* 
Brandsburton Church.* 
Brayton Church * 

Reliquary, New Series, ii. 152. 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, xii. 447. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, pp. 256, 315, 

33. 33 1 - 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. Ivi. 
Brompton Church (E.R.) 

Rev. J. Fawcett, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of 

Scarborough, p. 50. 
Brompton, Patrick, Church. 
Broughton in Airedale Church 

Whitaker, History of Craven, 2nd ed., p. 93. 
Bulmer Church. 
Burnby Church.* 
Burton Fleming, Church.* 
Byland Abbey * 

The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 45. 
Byland, Old, Church.* 
Campsall Church.* 
Carlton Church 

Whitaker, History of Craven, 2nd ed., p. 175. 
Catwick Church. 
Cawood Church * 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, xii. 436. 
Cayton Church * 

Rev. J. Fawcett, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of 
Scarborough, p. 22. 

G. A. Poole, Churches of Scarborough, &c., p. 81. 
Collingham Church.* 
Conisborough Castle.* 
Conisborough Church.* 
Coniston Chapel 

Whitaker, History of Craven, 2nd ed., p. 455. 
Coverham Church. 
Dalton, North, Church. 
Danby Wiske Church * 

Whitaker, History of Richmond shire, i. 255. 

Archceologia, xlvii. 175. 


Danby Wiske Church * 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., pp. xliii., 

ii, fig. 79. 

Deighton, Kirk, Church. 
Doncaster Church * 

Rev. J. E. Jackson, Ruined Church of St. Mary Magdalene, 

Doncaster, p. 17. 
Doncaster, St. Mary Magdalene Church 

Rev. J. E. Jackson, Ruined Church of St. Mary Magdalene, 

Doncaster, pp. 6, 7. 
Driffield, Great, Church.* 
Easby Abbey * 

TJie Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 75. 
Eastrington Church. 
Ebberston Church. 
Edlington Church.* 
Egton Church. 
Etton Church * 

Collings, Details of Gothic Architecture, vol. i., pi. 3. 
Faceby Church. 
Farlington Church.* 
Filey Church * 

Rev. J. Fawcett, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of 

Scarborough, p. 168. 
Fishlake Church * 

Associated Architectural Societies' Reports, iv. 96. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, p. 277. 
Folkton Church.* 
Fordon Church.* 
Fountains Abbey * 

The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 30. 

F. A. Reeve, Monograph on Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire. 
Fridaythorp Church. 
Frodingham, North, Church. 
Fryston, Ferry, Church.* 
Garton-on-the- Wolds Church.* 
Goldsborough Church.* 
Goodmanham Church * 

The Antiquarian Itinerary, vol. i. 
Goxhill Church. 
Grimston, North, Church.* 
Guiseley Church.* 
Hammerton, Kirk, Church.* 
Hartshead Church * 

Churches of Yorkshire, vol. i. 24. 
Hatfield Church.* 


Hauxwell Church. 
Hay ton Church.* 
Healaugh Church * 

Sheahan and Whellan, History and Topography of the City 
of York) &c., i. 665. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, p. 328. 
Hedon Church.* 
Helmsley Castle.* 
Helmsley Church.* 
Hilston Church 

Poulson, History and Antiquities of Holderness, iL 79. 
Hilton Church. 
Horton Church 

Whitaker, History of Craven, 2nd ed., p. 147. 

W. Howson, Illustrated Guide to the District of Craven, p. 69. 
Hovingham Church.* 
Hunmanby Church * 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., pp.;xxix., 21. 

Carter's Ancient Architecture, pt. i., pi. xv. 
Huntington Church.* 
Husthwaite Church.* 
Hutton Buscel Church 

Rev. J. Fawcett, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of 

Scarborough, p. 32. 
Hutton Cranswick Church.* 
Ilkley Church.* 
Ingleby Greenhow Church.* 
Jervaulx Abbey * 

The Monastic Ruins of "Yorkshire, p. 65. 
Kellington Church.* 
Kettlewell Church. 

Whitaker, History of Craven, 2nd ed., p. 485. 
Kilham Church.* 

Prickett, Priory Church of Bridlington, plate xvi. 
Kilnwick-on-the-Wolds Church.* 
Kilnwick Percy Church. 
Kirby Hill Church. 
Kirkburn Church * 

Associated Architectural Societies' Reports, iii. 231. 
Kirkby Fleetham Church. 
Kirkby Grindalyth Church.* 
Kirkby Malzeard Church. 
Kirkby Wiske Church 

Drawing by Mr. Twopeny in the British Museum, Small 
Series, vi. 68. 


Kirkby Wiske Church 

Whitaker, History of Richmondshire, i. 263. 
Kirkdale Church * 

Tudor, Account of Kirkdale Church, plates 7 and 9. 
Kirkham Priory * 

Cotman, Architectural Etchings, vol. iv., plates iii. and iv. 

The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 80. 

Glossary of Architecture, 4th ed., plate 47. 

J. Johnson, Relics of Ancient English Architecture, frontis- 
Kirkstall Abbey * 

The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 18. 
Lastingham Church.* 
Laughton-en-le-Morthen Church.* 
Ledsham Church. 
Lissett Church. 

Poulson, History and Antiquities of Holderness, i. 260. 
Liverton Church. 
Lockington Church. 
Londesborough Church * 

Archceologia, xlvii. 166. 
Malton, New, St. Leonard's Church.* 
Malton, New, St. Michael's Church.* 
Malton, Old, Priory Church * 

The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 63. 
Mappleton Church. 
Marske Church, Richmondshire.* 
Marston, Long, Church. 
Marton-cum-Grafton Church. 
Masham Church.* 
Monkton, Moor, Church. 
Monkton, Nun, Priory Church * 

The Monastic Ridns of Yorkshire, p. 83. 

Churches of Yorkshire, vol. ii. 

York Volume of the Royal Archaeological Institute. 
Newbald, North, Church* 

The Antiquarian Itinerary, vol. i. 

J, Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, p. 331. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. Ix. 
Newton Church. 
Newton, Wold, Church * 

Sheahan and Whellan, History and Topography of the City 
of York, &c., ii, 492. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, p. 253. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., pp. xxx., 
31, fig. 16. 


Normanby (Ryedale) Church. 
Nunburnholme Church.* 
Osmotherley Church 

Grainge, Vale of Mowbray, p. 337. 
Oswaldkirk Church.* 
Otley Church.* 
Ouseburn, Great, Church.* 
Pickering Castle.* 
Pickhill Church. 
Redmire Church 

Banks, Walks in Yorkshire, NW. and NE. 
Riccall Church * 

Reliquary, New Series, ii. 101. 

Yorkshire Archceological Journal, xii. 329. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, pp. 274, 

3I5. 330- 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. Ixxii. 

Archaeological Journal, Ixii. 145. 
Richmond Castle.* 
Richmond Church. * 
Richmond, St. Martin's Priory * 

C. Clarkson, History and Antiquities of Richmond, York- 
shire, pp. 335, 344. 
Rievaulx Abbey. * 
Ripon Cathedral.* 
Ripon, St. Mary Magdalene Hospital Chapel * 

Churches of Yorkshire, vol. ii. p. 79. 
Roche Abbey.* 
Romaldkirk Church.* 
Rossington Church.* 
Rounton, West, Church. 
St. John's Church (Throapham).* 
Salton Church.* 
Saxton Church. 
Scawton Church.* 

York Volume of the Royal Archceological Institute. 
Scorborough Church. 
Seamer Church, near Scarborough * 

Rev. J. Fawcett, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of 

Scarborough, p. 4. 
Selby Abbey Church * 

Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 57. 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, xii. 324, 326. 
Sherburn in Elmete Church. * 
Shipton Church.* 
Silton, Over, Church. 


Sinningthwaite Priory * 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, viii. 381. 

Sheahan and Whellan, History and Topography of the City 

of York, &c., i. 654. 
Sinnington Church. 
Skerne Church. 
Skipton Castle * 

W. Howson, Illustrated Guide to the District of Craven, p. 3. 
Skipwith Church.* 
Snainton Church 

Rev. J. Fawcett, Church Rides in the Neighbourhood of 

Scarborough, p. 60. 
Sowerby Church * 

Grainge, Vale of Mowbray, p. 164. 
Spofforth Church.* 
Steeton Chapel. 
Stillingfleet Church * 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, xii. 440. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, p. 67. 
Stillington Church.* 
Stonegrave Church.* 
Swinton Chapel 

The Antiquarian Itinerary, vol. vi. 
Tanfield, West, Church.* 

Terrington Church.* , 

Thorpe Arch Church.* 
Thorpe Bassett Church. 
Thorpe Salvin Church.* 
Thwing Church * 

Sheahan and Whellan, History and Topography of the City 
of York, &c., ii. 490. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., pp. Ivii., 51, 

fig. 98. 

Tickhill Castle.* 
Ulrome Church. 
Weaverthorpe Church.* 
Well Church.* 
Wharram-le-Street Church. 
Wighill Church* 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, viii. 393. 
Wilton Chapel, near Pickering. 
Wilton, Bishop, Church * 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, pp. 319, 330, 

363. 368. 
C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. Ivi. 


Withernwick Church 

Poulson, History and Antiquities of Holderness, vol. i. p. 472. 
Witton, West, Church.* 
York, Almshouses, Bootham.* 
York, Bootham Bar.* 
York, Micklegate.* 
York Minster * 

Browne, History of St. Peter's, York, plates xiv., xv. 
York Museum * 

W. Hargrove, History and Description of York, ii. 129. 

The Reliquary, New Series, i. 224. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., pp. Ixxix., 

55, % 155- 
York, St. Denis Church * 

Halfpenny, Fragmenta Vetusta, York, plate xxvi. 

Yorkshire Archtzological Journal, xii. 335. 

York Volume of the Royal Archaeological Institute. 
York, St. Lawrence extra Walmgate Church * 

Brown, Etchings of St. Lawrence's Church, York. 

Yorkshire Archceo logical Journal, xii. 341. 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. Ivi. 

York Volume of the Royal Archaeological Institute. 
York, St. Leonard's Hospital.* 
York, St. Margaret's Church, Walmgate * 

Carter, Ancient Sculpture and Painting, ii. 31, 35. 

Halfpenny, Fragmenta Vetusta, York, plate xxiv. 

Reliquary, New Series, ii. i. 

Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, xii. 335. 

J. Romilly Allen, Early Christian Symbolism, pp. 274, 323, 

33, 3 66 - 

C. E. Keyser, A List of Norman Tympana, &c., p. Ixxviii. 

Society of Antiquaries' Proceedings, 2nd Series, xxi. 122. 

York Volume of the Royal Archaeological Institute. 
York, St. Mary's Abbey * 

Vetusta Monumenta, vol. v. pi. Ivii. 

The Monastic Ruins of Yorkshire, p. 2 1 . 

Halfpenny, Fragmenta Vetusta, York, pi. xxx. 
York, St. Mary Bishophill Church, Senior * 

York Volume of the Royal Archaeological Institute. 
York, St. Maurice's Church * 

J. Sampson, Handbook to the York Museum, p. 71, note. 
York, St. William's Chapel * 

Halfpenny, Fragmenta Vetusta, York, pi. xxiii. 
York, Trinity Priory. 
York, Walmgate.* 



THE Bells of a county may be considered from 
at least two points of view. The ringer will 
esteem them merely as so many musical instruments 
arranged to enable him to execute elaborate performances 
according to the most approved methods of scientific cam- 
panology. I do not, however, propose to deal with this 
aspect, but to consider the bells as part of the ordinary 
furniture of churches and as works of art. The earliest 
notice of church bells in Yorkshire is that of a ring at 
the monastery of Hackness, near Scarborough, in the 
early part of the eighth century. At that time, when a 
monk died, it was customary for the brethren to be 
called by the ringing of a bell to pray for the soul of 
the deceased. Bede relates that in his day the nuns of 
St. Hilda's Abbey at Whitby were called to daily prayer 
in a similar manner. A few years ago there hung in the 
belfry of Scawton Church, near Helmsley, and I believe 
hangs there still, a bell which was brought from Byland 
Abbey in 1146. How long it was at Byland before its 
removal we do not know, but if it is still in existence 
it must be the oldest bell in Yorkshire. It bears, or 
bore, the inscription " + Campana Beata Maria + Johannes 
Copgraf me fecit." In going through the towers of the old 
West Riding churches some years ago, I found altogether 
seventy-five bells to which I assigned a date prior to 1550; 
and the Rev. W. C. Boulter, in his notes on the East Riding 
bells, printed in Yorkshire Archceological Journal many 
years ago, gave forty-seven bells in that district to which a 


similar age might be assigned. The North Riding bells have 
not yet been thoroughly examined, but I should expect to find 
amongst them a proportionately large number of mediaeval 
bells. All over England, of course, old bells get fewer 
and fewer every year. Even in the period during which 
I was engaged on the West Riding, I several times found 
on revisiting a tower that one or other of the bells noted 
on a former occasion had disappeared. Such gradual dis- 
appearance is a matter for regret, as no one who has not 
braved the difficulties and dirt unavoidable in systematic 
bell-hunting can realise the artistic skill bestowed in the 
old days upon bells which, of course, were hardly ever 
seen after they were once hung. 

With regard to their gradual destruction, of course there 
are and always have been many causes working in that 
direction. Where bells are regarded merely as musical in- 
struments, there is nothing to be surprised at in the taking 
down and sending to the bell-founder of three old bells to 
help to pay for a new ring of six, upon which elaborate 
change-ringing can be performed. Bell-metal, though prac- 
tically imperishable, except in an atmosphere polluted with 
sulphurous smoke, is a brittle compound ; and unless a bell 
is looked after and rung with proper care and skill, it will 
probably, sooner or later, be cracked. A chapelry in the old 
parish of Dewsbury used to have its bells jested upon as 

" Hartshead-cum-Clifton, 
Two cracked bells and a snipped un." 

I have seen these bells, and no doubt their condition is 
due to neglect and faulty ringing or chiming. 

Again, bell - metal is and always has been an ex- 
pensive and valuable material, and a bell has always 
been treated as a " negotiable instrument." At the 
dissolution of the monasteries in the sixteenth century, 
the plate and bells were looked after sharply as one of 
the most valuable parts of the movable plunder. Even in 
the reign of Philip and Mary, church bells were not safe, 


as may be proved by a document in the Record Office. It 
is dated 24th November 1555, and contains an account 
by Henry Saville, the Crown Surveyor for the West Riding, 
with respect to four bells which he had taken from the 
church at Sherburn-in-Elmet, and shipped at Hull. Much 
of the bell-metal taken from the monasteries was carried, 
like that from Sherburn, to the nearest port and shipped 
for London, or sent direct abroad ; and so great did the 
trade become that further exportation had to be pro- 
hibited by Act of Parliament. Richard Bellasys, when 
engaged in 1537 upon the dissolution of Jervaulx Abbey, 
wrote to Thomas Cromwell : " The ways in that country 
(i.e. the North Riding) are so foul and deep that no carriage 
can pass ; " and concerning the bells, " I cannot sell them 
above 153. the cwt., wherein I would gladly know your 
Lordship's pleasure, whether I should sell them after that 
price or send them up to London, and if they be sent 
up, surely the carriage would be costly from that place 
[Jervaulx] to the water." Bell-metal, gun-metal, and statu- 
ary-bronze are more or less of the same composition ; and 
though doubtless many cannon have been made from bell- 
metal, I have never heard of any bells made from cannon, 
except those at Liversedge, near Bradford, which were 
cast in 1814 from guns taken from the French at Genoa. 
When, after the Revolution, the bronze statue of James II. 
at Newcastle was broken down and thrown into the Tyne, 
some portions were fished up and afterwards purchased by 
the Smiths for their bell-foundry at York. A few Yorkshire 
bells now existing can be traced to monastic towers. There 
is, however, besides the Scawton bell, one at Warmfield, 
near Wakefield, which bears the name of John de Berdesay, 
Abbot of Kirkstall, who died in 1313. It is said that the 
twelve bells belonging to the Trinitarian Priory at Knares- 
borough were shared between the churches of Spofforth, 
Kirkby Malzeard, and Knaresborough. None of these bells, 
however, now exist in those towers, except possibly one at 
Spofforth. The second bell at Little Ouseburn, bearing 






the inscription " + Sancte Johannes ora pro nobis," is 
said to have been brought from Fountains Abbey, to which 
this church was attached. Mr. Walbran 1 says Prior 
Whixley of Fountains gave some bells to the church at 
Arncliffe-in-Craven ; and a bell there, bearing the inscrip- 
tion " + Petre poli clavis fac ut intremis quavis," may well 
be one of them. It must be remembered that until the 
middle of the eighteenth century English roads were so bad 
that to convey as heavy a mass as a church bell, weighing 
even 1 5 cwt., would be nearly impossible, and so bells were 
broken up to facilitate their removal. Again, bells have 
often been sold to raise money for parish purposes, as 
at Kirk Sandall, where, in 1828, four of the bells were 
sold to provide funds for the rebuilding of the tower. 
In 1890 I found there only one small bell, dated 1690, 
and the four wheels of those which had been sold. Other 
bells have been lost by downright theft. In 1645 a man 
named Barnard Bumpus stole a bell, which the sexton 
described as having the inscription " Michael th' archangell," 
out of the steeple of Copgrove Church. The thief broke 
the bell up, but the fragments were traced, and he was 
indicted at York for the offence. 2 At Bilton in the Ainsty 
there is a double bell-cot on the western gable. One bell 
only remains, and it is said that the other was stolen 
by a travelling tinker. 

Rev. S. Baring-Gould, in Yorkshire Oddities, tells an 
amusing story of how Dean Waddilove of Ripon sold 
the old bell of St. Mary Magdalene's Hospital, at Ripon, 
to raise funds for the replenishing of his wine cellar ; and to 
conceal the theft had a wooden dummy bell made and hung 
in the bell-cot of the Hospital. The old bell is said to have 
had the inscription, " Sum ego pulsata Rosa mundi vocata." 
Canon J. T. Fowler told me he had himself seen the wooden 
bell in an old chest in the Hospital Chapel. 

In early times churches, and especially large cathedral 

1 Sur. Soc., " Memorials of Fountains." 
1 Sur. Soc., xl. p. 67. 


and monastic churches, seem frequently to have been 
destroyed by fire, and no doubt many of the bells were 
then broken or melted. Up and down Yorkshire may be 
seen a good many circular oak snuff-boxes made from 
the timber of York Minster obtained at the restoration of 
the south-western tower after the fire of 1840. Each of 
these boxes has let into the lid a small medallion made 
from the metal of the Minster bells, which were then melted 
as they hung. A similar fate overtook the bells of Don- 
caster Parish Church at the fire which destroyed it in 1856; 
and on Christmas Day 1874 the tower of Bramham Church, 
near Wetherby, was burnt out and the bells destroyed. 
So in October 1906 the bells of Selby Abbey Church, and 
in February 1908, those of Kirkby Malzeard suffered a like 
fate. One frequently finds in the tower of an old church 
one bell much older than the rest. This may be accounted 
for by the fact that turbulent districts were sometimes 
penalised by being deprived of all their bells but one to 
each church. Such a disgrace fell upon all the churches in 
Yorkshire and elsewhere where Mass was said during 
what is known as the "Rising in the North" in 1536. 
In spite of all, however, the diligent student of such things 
may still, in the out-of-the-way parts of the country, find 
many old bells. At Marton, near Boroughbridge, is a long, 
narrow-waisted bell, bearing in rough Lombardic lettering 
reversed : " + Campana Sancti Johannis Ewageliste." This, 
I think, is nearly as old as the Scawton bell. Bells older 
than the fourteenth century are generally tall and narrow 
in proportion to their diameter. The Marton bell is 1 8 inches 
high and 18 inches in diameter at the rim, but only 8 inches 
in diameter at the shoulder. Bells of a similar shape may 
be found at Muker, in Swaledale, and Weston, near Otley. 
An early and beautiful sample of work in bell-metal may be 
seen in the Museum of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society 
at York, in the shape of a mortar cast in 1308 by Brother 
William Towthorpe. 

Later on I shall deal with the bell-founders who are 


known to have had their headquarters in Yorkshire. It 
must, however, be remembered that many of the Yorkshire 
bells were cast by itinerant founders, who went about the 
country carrying their rough metal and tools on horses, along 
roads fit for no wheeled vehicle, and who set up furnaces 
and cast their bells where they were wanted. At Kirkby 
Malzeard a bell was cast in the church itself, the church- 
wardens' accounts for 1591 having this entry: "To Vincent 
Outhwaite for paving the church where the bell was casten, 
ijs. "; and an old building on the north side of Sheffield 
Parish Church used to be pointed out as having been used 
as a foundry when some of the bells for that church were 
cast. The inscriptions found on mediaeval bells are, as a 
rule, short, often merely the name of the saint to which 
the bell was dedicated, with a cross, and the word " Sancte," 
or an abbreviation for it. A very old bell at Walton, near 
Tadcaster, has nothing but the word " Hugo," and a cross. 
Invocations of God and the saints are a common form of 
inscription, as at Skelbrooke, near Doncaster, where two 
of the bells have: " + Jesu fili dei miserere mei," and 
" + Maria mater dei miserere mei;" and one often finds the 
angelic salutation, "Ave Maria gracia plena." A remark- 
able inscription is to be found on a fifteenth-century bell 
at Ledsham, near Leeds : " + O Sacer et Daniel pro gente 
Havvarden adora." I have not been able to make out 
any connection between Ledsham and Hawarden, in 
Cheshire, but it is a curious fact that George Ledsham 
(probably of the family of Ledsham of Moston, Cheshire), 
by his will in 1606, left 300 to found a grammar school 
at Hawarden. Those of my readers who are acquainted 
with Wordsworth's poem, "The White Doe of Rylstone," 
may remember the lines in canto vii. : 

" When the bells of Rylstone play'd 
Their Sabbath music " God us ayde I " 
That was the sound they seemed to speak ; 
Inscriptive legend which, I ween, 
May on those holy bells be seen." 


Wordsworth was, however, mistaken. The legend borne by 
the bell referred to was, " In God is al." This was misread 
by Dr. Carey, a former vicar of Bolton Abbey, into, " J. N. 
[the initials of John Norton of Rylstone] God us ayde," 
and communicated as such to Wordsworth. The old bell 
which occasioned the mistake has been recast, but at 
Crofton, near Wakefield, is a mediaeval bell by the same 
founder bearing the inscription, " In God is al quod 
[guot/t] Gabriel," doubtless a version of St. Luke i. 37. 
From time to time the dedication of some of our parish 
churches has been altered. To-day the church at Caw- 
thorne, near Barnsley, bears a dedication to All Saints, 
but it was formerly known as the chapel of St. Michael 
in the old parish of Silkstone, and a mediaeval bell still 
in the tower bears the inscription, " Michaelis." Some- 
times we get such an inscription as, " Paule est nomen 
meum " (at Long Marston), alluding to the customary bap- 
tism of the bell. A curious post-Reformation instance of 
the naming of a bell occurred at Haddlesey, near Selby, 
when, in 1839, a new bell was procured. It arrived on 
September 29th, and was dedicated by the curate-in-charge, 
who gave it the name " Michael." One of the earliest 
English inscriptions I have found in Yorkshire is at Cow- 
thorpe, near Wetherby. The church was built in 1458 
by Sir Bryan Rouclyff, son of Guy Rouclyff, Recorder of 
York. Sir Bryan was made a Baron of the Exchequer 
the year this church was consecrated. The bell, which 
bears the arms of the founder and his wife (a Hammerton 
of Craven), has the inscription, "O thou blyssid Trinite 
of Bryan Rodlyff haf pyte." 

Interesting information for the genealogist is sometimes 
afforded by inscriptions on bells, which, in olden days as 
now, were often given as memorials to the deceased. The 
second bell at Goldesbrough, near Harrogate, has, " Anno 
Domini M mo CCCC mo VII mo Anno Deo digna Poscentibus 
esto benigna Domina Johanna uxor ejusdem Ricardi Goldis- 
burgh fecit dimediam." The third bell has, in an entirely 





different kind of lettering : " + Ihc + Dominus Ricardus 
Goldesburg Miles XIII. fecit istam." I am informed that 
there were at least eight Richard Goldesburghs between 
1295 and 14/9, but cannot find that any one of them had 
a wife named Johanna or Joan. Again, at Bolton-in- 
Bolland we have two bells : 

(1) " See Paule ora pro aiabus Henrici Pudsey et Margarete consorte sue." 

(2) " See Johls Baptista ora pro aiabus Johis Pudsey militis et Gracie con- 

sorte sue." 

Both these bells were probably given, about 1510, by 
Henry Pudsey, son of the Henry and Margaret of the 
first bell, and grandson of the John and Grace commemo- 
rated on the second bell. 

In modern times it has happily been customary, on 
the recasting of a bell, to reproduce the old inscription, 
sometimes in facsimile, but unfortunately this was not the 
practice of the seventeenth and eighteenth century founders. 
Possibly, from anti-Catholic religious prejudice, they would 
not reproduce what they considered superstitious inscrip- 
tions. On a bell, however, at Kirk Hammerton, near York, 
is, " Campana Sancti Quintini, 1667," as far as my know- 
ledge goes, a solitary instance. With the Reformation came 
a new style of inscription. Though still often in Latin, the 
inscriptions cease to be invocations to saints or prayers 
for the departed. Common post-Reformation inscriptions 
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are : 

" God save our Church and Realm." 

"Jesus be our speed " (said to be the invocation used by a bell- 
founder at the critical moment when he tapped the furnace). 
" Soli Deo gloria." 
" In jucunditate soni sonabo tibi Domine." 

At Tickhill (1726) one gets on several bells lines from 
Sternhold and Hopkins' version of Psalm Ixxxi. Mottoes 
based on the uses of the bells are also common, such as : 

" I sweetly tolling men do call 
To taste on meat that feeds the soul." 

" Wind them and bring them, and I will ring for them.*" 


and at Clapham, in Craven : 

" My crack is cured, now aloud I cry, 
' Come pray, repent, here believe, learn to die.' " 

At Cowthorpe a bell, dated 1622, anticipates some of 
ex-President's Roosevelt's spelling reforms : l 

' ' My sound the mean yet doth aspire 
To sound men's harts and raise them hire." 

Upon eighteenth and early nineteenth century bells 
one finds little but the names or initials of the church- 
wardens, with the name of the founder and the date. 
Mediaeval bells seldom bear dates, and one has to judge 
them by the character of the lettering used. This, how- 
ever, is not an infallible guide, as founders often employed 
the lettering stamps used by their predecessors in business, 
just as a printer often uses blocks employed by his grand- 
father. At Bolton Percy is a fine bell, dated, and no doubt 
cast, in 1605, but in the inscription on which have been used 
a number of beautiful capitals of much earlier date. At 
Thorparch, in the same neighbourhood, is a bell bearing 
the date 1630, which has its inscription in a lettering of 
definitely mediaeval character. Again, the tenor bell at 
Spofforth bears three sorts of lettering Roman, English 
text, and a sort of hybrid. 

In the Archaeological Journal (vol. 50, pp. 150-174), 
Mr. R. C. Hope gave a list of English bell-founders, and in 
the Report of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society for 1898 
Mr. George Benson gave an account of the York founders. 
From these and my own researches I give the following list 
of Yorkshire founders : 

Adam, Friar, Doncaster ..... 1335-49 

Aughton, Henry, York ...... 1384 

Aughton, Henry, , 1491 

Asby, Thomas, , 1485 

1 Bell inscriptions, whether in mediaeval Latin or later English, are as 
may be gathered from examples cited in this paper, full of curious blunders 
and abnormal spelling. 


Bee, Gilbert, York 1513 

Belyetter, 1 Robert, York 1280 

Bery, John, 1461 

Blakey, Richard, 1501 

Bonyne, Gyliseus, ,, 1365-74 

Bous, John, 1354 

Bowler, Augustus, Wath-on-Dearne . . . 1626-48 
Carved, or 

Calvert, Christopher, York 1545 

,, Thomas, ,, 1551 

,, Christopher, ,, 1548 

William, , 1551 

Cawood & Son, Leeds 1812-16 

Copgrave, John de, York 1140 

,, William de, York 1297 

Guerdon, William, Doncaster .... 1652-78 

Dalton, George, York 1752-89 

C. & R. 1783-91 

Robert . 1789 

Dawson, William, 1514 

Doe, Gilbert 1515 

Eschby, John ,, 1505 

Fourness, Thomas, Halifax 1472 

Gerveaux, John, York 1400 

Heathcote, George, York 1540-58 

Hedderley, Daniel, Bawtry 1714-59 

Hilton, Thomas, Wath-on Dearne .... 1774-1808 

Hooton, William de, York 1297-1300 


John, 1455-73 

King, William, ,, 1435 

Kirk, George Thillis, 1758 

Kirkham, John de, 1371 

Lee, George, Wath-on-Dearne .... 1613-15 

Lonsdale, Thomas, York 1432 

Lowesse, John, ,, 1474 

T., 1485 

Ludlam, Joseph, Rotherham 1733-60 

Ludlam & Walker, ,, 1750 

Lyons, Thomas, York 1577 

Marshall, John, 1385 

Metcalfe, Francis, York 

Naylor Vickers & Co., Sheffield (steel bells) . . 1857-74 

Ogelby, Robert, York 1700-68 

Oldfield, Henry, 1590-1620 

1 i.e. " Bell-founder," hence Billiter Street in the city of London. 


Oldfield, William, Doncaster and York . . 1601-46 

Potter, John, York 1359-80 

Richardson, Richard, York I54 

James , 1515 

Ryche, Thomas, York 1537 

Seller, William, 1635-87 

Edward (L), York 1669-1724 

,, Edward (II.), ,, 1724-64 

,, Edward and John, York .... 1745 

,, S.,York 1717 

Shaw, James & Son, Bradford .... 1848-92 

Smith, Abraham, York 1652-9 

James ,, 1656-63 

Samuel (L), 1662-1709 

( II.), York 1709-31 

Smith (S.) & Cuerton (W.), York . . . . 1662 
(Ab) ....- 

William, 1553-1662 

Sowerby, Thomas de, ,, . . . . 1380 

Stokesley, William, 1340 

Tenand, John, ,,.... 1508-16 

Thwaites, William, 1512 

Towthorpe, William de, ,, . . . 1308 

Tunnoc, Richard, . . . 1320-30 

Watson, John, ,, . . . 

Whitehead, James, 1730 

Wood, C. S., Leeds 1806 

With regard to a great many of these founders I have no 
information except Messrs. Hope and Benson's lists. 

Cuerdon, William. This man seems to have worked 
with both Abraham and James Smith. The initials of 
all three are to be found on a bell at Swillington, dated 
1656. Cuerdon used a mark almost exactly the same as 
William Oldfield's larger mark, so he may have succeeded 
to, or had some connection with that foundry. 

Dalton, George. He carried on the Sellars' foundry to 
the very end of the eighteenth century, and used a small 
mark similar to that of the Smiths and Sellars, but with- 
out the band of bell-ornament, and with his own name 
upon it. 

Heathcote, George. The Heathcotes had their principal 





foundry at Chesterfield. The first of them, Ralph, died in 
1525. His son George (I.) died in 1558. The latter cast 
a bell for Ripon Minster in 1540. There appears after- 
wards to have been another George Heathcote, or some 
founder using the marks, at Badsworth (date 1582) and 
Thrybergh (date 1609). 

Hedderley, Daniel, cast a considerable number of bells 
in the southern part of the county, e.g. Doncaster, South 
Kirkby, and Sheffield (St. Peter). 

Hilton, Thomas. This man had a foundry at Wath-on- 
Dearne, near Rotherham, and cast a good many bells for 
churches in his immediate neighbourhood. In connec- 
tion with A. Walker he cast bells at Ecclesfield and Dar- 

Ludlam, Joseph. He had a foundry near the Grammar 
School at Rotherham. His bells may be seen, amongst 
other places, at Ackworth and Penistone. He also worked 
with Walker, and bells of the partnership may be found 
in several towers in South Yorkshire. 

Oldfield, Henry, &c. A large number of bells are still 
to be found in Yorkshire, of high quality both in casting 
and artistic design, which are thought to have been made 
by founders whose origin and headquarters were at Not- 
tingham. Richard Mellour, a bell-founder, was Mayor of 
Nottingham in 1 506. He had a son Robert, who succeeded 
him in the business, and died about 1526, leaving a 
daughter, who married Humphry Quarnbie. Robert, son 
of this marriage, about 1593 took into partnership Henry 
Oldfield, son of another Henry Oldfield, whom Mr. North 
thinks migrated to Nottingham from Yorkshire, and who 
carried on a foundry in Long Row, Nottingham, in 1574-75. 
A notable bell at Harewood, cast about the latter date 
by these Nottingham founders, has, amongst other charac- 
teristic ornaments, a shield bearing a cross raguly between 
three crowns, the foot of the cross being encircled by a 
crown in base. This is very like the arms of the town 
of Nottingham. The same mark appeared on a bell 


formerly at Pontefract (All Saints). Nearly all the bells 
attributed to the Nottingham foundry bear a pair of very 
fine capitals, H. and (reversed) C. It may be that the 
reversed C did duty for an O, but Mr. Walters of the 
British Museum suggests that it was meant for a D, the 
initial of Henry Dand or Danne, father-in-law to a Robert 
Quarnbie, who was a bell-founder, and is known to have 
done work with Henry Oldfield (II.) at Shrewsbury Abbey 
Church in 1591. The same C is often used right way up 
in inscriptions, but I have never found either a capital D 
or an O of this fount. There is generally found between 
the H and O a small shield or trade-mark containing the 
letter R and a bell possibly the initial of either Richard 
Mellour or of Richard Quarnbie. Henry Oldfield (II.) 
had three sons, George (I.), Richard, and Robert, all en- 
gaged in bell-founding. George (I.) died in 1680, having had 
a son George (II.), who predeceased him in 1660. I have 
found bells of George Oldfield at Batley, Edlington, Hickle- 
ton, and Loversall, all curiously bearing the same date, 
1658. A Hugh Oldfield married Alice, daughter of George 
(I.), and used a heart-shaped mark with his initials and 
a bell hanging between them. 

Oldfield, William. Probably of the same family. Had 
foundries at Nottingham, Doncaster, and York. Many of 
his bells are to be found in Yorkshire dated in the earlier 
part of the seventeenth century. He used a small mark 
with his initials, and a bell between them, and also a 
larger stamp bearing a cross between two bells. At one 
time he seems to have worked with Henry or Hugh Oldfield, 
whose initials are added to the larger stamp on a bell at 
Broughton-in-Craven, dated 1615. 

Potter, John. Mr. Benson notes that John, son of 
Nicholas the Potter (probably a maker of brazen pots), was 
made a freeman of York in 1359. There is a bell at Holy 
Trinity Church, York, bearing his name; and, amongst 
other bells which may be attributed to him, is the Kirk- 
stall bell at Warmfield. 


Smith, Abraham, James, and Samuel. The Smiths had 
a foundry at Toft Green, in York, and did a very extensive 
business during the seventeenth century. Abraham seems 
to have been the founder of the business, and worked with 
William Guerdon (1620-62). He was succeeded by James, 
who was probably his son, and is known to have worked 
with him. Many of their bells bear the initials I.S., and a 
small shield parted per pale, having three jugs or laver 
pots on one side and three bells on the other. Mr. Benson 
says he has copies of inscriptions from 182 bells made by 
the Smiths, and doubtless I have come across many of 
which he had not heard. Abraham and James were suc- 
ceeded at the Toft Green Foundry by Samuel Smith (I.) and 
his son Samuel (II.). The distinguishing characteristic 

f S S 1 
of their bells is a small shield bearing the mark "! jri, ' r set 

at intervals in a very beautiful band of ornament inter- 
spersed with bells. Samuel (I.) died in 1709, and was buried 
in Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate. He bequeathed the 
foundry to his sons, Samuel (II.) and James Samuel (II.) 
died in August 1731. 

Seller, William. Another notable seventeenth-century 
foundry at York was that of the Seller family in Jubber- 
gate. One distinguishing mark of William Seller's bells is 
a small shield bearing the initials W.S., and a bell, with 
sometimes also a rose. William Seller was succeeded by 
his son Edward Seller (I.), who was Sheriff of York in 
1703-4, and used a mark similar to that of the Smiths, 

( E ' 1 
but with \ Seller \ on the small shield. He used a coarser 


and larger band of bell ornament. Edward Seller (I.) died 
in 1724, and was buried in St. Sampson's Church, York. 
He was succeeded by his son Edward (II.), who was also 
Sheriff of York (1731-32), and used the same marks. In 
1745 there was working with Edward (II.) a John Seller, 
possibly a brother. 


Tunnoc, Richard. I have not been able to identify any 
of this man's bells remaining in the county, but he was 
evidently a person of position, being Bailiff of York in 
1320, and representing the city in the Parliament which 
sat at Lincoln in 1327. He died in 1330, and is com- 
memorated in a very interesting window at the east end 
of the north aisle of the nave of York Minster, within a few 
feet of his grave. A description of the window, as given 
in Murray's Handbook of the Northern Cathedrals, is as 
follows : 

" In the lower right-hand light of the window is shown 
the casting of a bell. A man blows the furnace with a pair 
of double bellows, on the top of which a boy is standing, 
pressing alternately with each foot, and supporting himself 
on a bar fixed above. On the opposite side of the furnace 
another figure, apparently Tunnoc himself, opens the fur- 
nace door with a long bent poker. The metal is seen 
flowing into the mould of the bell. The left-hand light 
shows the bell fixed in a lathe to be finished. One man 
turns the handle of the windlass, and Tunnoc himself 
applies a long turning tool pressed tightly against his 
shoulder. His name appears above." 

In out-of-the-way places old customs die hard, even 
when they have lost all meaning to the present generation. 
The ringing of a bell early in the morning and at eight 
o'clock at night is by no means uncommon ; and in places, 
for instance at Ecclesfield, near Sheffield, a bell is still rung 
daily at 6 A.M., noon, and 6 P.M. I think there is little 
doubt that the 8 P.M. bell is a survival, not of the curfew, 
but of a bell rung for compline, the last office of the day. 
Indeed, a hundred years ago such bells were known as 
" complines." I have only come across one instance of the 
ringing of the funeral peal mentioned in Canon LXVII. 
At Bolton-in-Bolland, almost the most westerly parish in 
Yorkshire, all four bells are rung from the time a funeral is 
sighted approaching until it reaches the church. In 1810 a 
Mr. Tuke of Wath-on-Dearne bequeathed los. to the ringers 





who were to strike off a peal of Grand Bobs whilst the 
testator was being put into his grave. The Pancake bell 
is still rung in many places, without the least idea of its 
origin as an invitation to come to be shriven. In many 
places a difference is made in ringing the death-bell to 
enable the hearers to distinguish the sex and approximate 
age of the deceased. The exact custom varies, but Wath- 
on-Dearne may be taken as a sample. There before the 
regular tolling three times three strokes are given for a man, 
three times two strokes for a woman, twice three for a boy, 
and twice two for a girl. It has been said that the origin of 
the old saying that nine tailors make a man is taken from 
this custom, as almost invariably the death of a man is 
indicated by nine strokes or tellers. In old times church 
bells were much used for civil purposes. In 1576 it was 
ordered at Richmond Sessions that on the ringing of the 
alarm bell in Trinity Church tower the townsmen were to 
resort to the mayor and obey his commands on pain of a 
fine of 6s. 8d. for default. At Doncaster it used to be 
customary to ring the sixth bell to summon the Town 
Council, the fifth for the Highway Board, and the treble 
for the Vestry. Even to-day in Pontefract the firemen are 
summoned by ringing two of the church bells together. 


UNTIL a few years ago, a sacrosanct theory pointed 
to the conclusion that the strategic policy of the 
Conqueror, on his northern expedition of 1068, 
was a continuation of that of Eadward the Elder and the 
Lady of the Mercians, in their defence of the Mercian 
border against the Danes nearly a century and a half 
beforehand. William's two castles at York, one on either 
side of the Ouse, were assumed to be fortifications of 
similar character with those burhs which guarded both 
banks of the Lea at Hertford, of the Ouse at Buckingham 
and Bedford, of the Welland at Stamford, and of the Trent 
at Nottingham. 1 The burh of pre-Conquest times was 
taken to be the precursor of the Norman castle; and the 
Norman baron was said, in his work of fortification, to 
have built his castle on the mound and round the enclosure 
occupied by the English landowner to whose possessions 
he succeeded. 2 It is not unlikely that, in many cases, 
Norman castles occupied a site previously chosen by Saxon 
noblemen for their habitation. But that such a site was 
known as a burh, or that its general plan and system of 
defence resembled those of a Norman castle, are matters 
open to grave doubt. The burhs built by Eadward and 

1 See A.-S. Chron., ann. 913-924, for references to these and other burhs. 

2 This is the theory enunciated by the late G. T. Clark, Med. Mil. Arch., 
1884, vol. i. pp. 12-34. His fundamental assumption is thus stated (p. 23) : 
" A burk is a moated mound with a table top, and a base court, also moated, 
either appended to one side of it, or within which it stands." This over- 
confident hypothesis colours the whole of Mr. Clark's valuable work with 
somewhat fatal effect. 



^Ethelflaed, or surrendered to them, were almost certainly 
fortified enclosures inhabited by communities in fact, 
walled or stockaded towns. The castel was the fortress 
and residence of an individual lord with his retinue ; and it 
is clear, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, as well as from 
a fairly definite statement by Ordericus Vitalis, that the 
castle was first made familiar to Englishmen by the Norman 
invaders. 1 Norman favourites of Edward the Confessor 
had built at least two castles in England one north of 
London, the other in the banished Swegen's earldom of 
Hereford ; and one of these was so far a phenomenon that 
it was known as " the " castle. But to the majority of the 
Englishmen who fought at Hastings, the castle which 
William constructed there, as the Chronicle tells us, and the 
Bayeux tapestry shows us, was a new thing. The very 
novelty of the castle as a form of fortification, the un- 
familiar character of its earthworks, accounts for the use 
which the Conqueror made of it in his English campaigns. 
If it was already a well-known feature in England, it is 
surprising that, before the Conquest, the only castelas 
that are mentioned by the Chronicle should be the work 
of foreigners, and that William's castle-building after the 
Conquest should be so carefully recorded, as if the castel 
were a novelty which required special mention. When 
William returned to Normandy in the Lent of 1067, his 
viceroys, Bishop Odo and William Fitz-Osbern, over- 
awed the country by building castles ; and the chronicler 
distinctly marks this epoch of building as a land- 
mark in the decline of English freedom. 2 After Easter, 
1068, the king went from Winchester northward to stem 
the tide of rebellion which was rising in the north. 
Fortified burhs he doubtless found : castles he had to build. 
And one result of his journey which he left behind him 

1 A.-S. Chron., ann. 1048, 1052; Ord. Vit., iy. 4. (Migne, Patrol. 
Cnrsus, vol. clxxxviii. I col. 314 C.) 

2 A.-S. Chron., ann. 1066. Cf. Ord. Vit., lib. iv. c. 3. (Migne, ti.s., 
col. 308 D.) 


were the castles of Warwick, Nottingham, Lincoln, 
Huntingdon, Cambridge, and the first castle of York. 1 His 
castle at Nottingham rose high on its sandstone cliff above 
the Danish burh north of the Trent, commanding both it 
and the suburb across the river which Eadward the Elder 
had made into a burh. At York, as at Nottingham, the 
city spread on both sides of the river. North of the Ouse 
was the old Roman city, and, on the south-west of this 
enclosure, between the wall and the river, in the angle 
formed by the junction of Ouse and Foss, William placed 
the first of his castles. Early in 1069, the governor, 
William Malet, found himself hard pressed by the in- 
surgents who supported Edgar Atheling. The Conqueror 
hastened to the relief of the castle, and constructed a 
second fortress on the opposite side of the Ouse, outside 
the Saxon rampart of the southern or Micklegate suburb. 
The second castle was committed to William Fitz-Osbern. 2 
It is abundantly clear that both castles consisted of the 
usual type of Norman earthwork, and that the donjons 
which crowned their mottes or moated mounds, as well as 
the rest of the fortifications, were of timber. Both mounds 
still remain. That on the north of the river was eventually 
to bear the stone tower of quatrefoil shape, which has 
occupied its summit from the reign of Henry III. to our 
own day. The southern motte, now known as the Baile 
Hill, apparently never was fortified with stone buildings ; 
all traces of its fortifications are now gone, and indications 
of the bailey or ward at the foot of the mound have almost 
disappeared. 3 

The castle, then, far from being identical with the burh, 
was the fortress of a foreign lord, raised with the express 

1 Ord. Vit., lib. iv. c. 5. (Migne, u.s., col. 314 D.): " Ipse tamen, quia 
fidem illorum suspectam habuit, in urbe ipsa munitionem firmavit." 

2 Ord. Vit., iv. 6 : " Rex autem dies octo in urbe morans, alterum prae- 
sidium condidit," &c. 

8 See Mrs. Armitage's descriptions, " Early Norman Castles of England " 
(Eng. Hist. Rev., vol. xix., 1904, pp. 443-449) ; and Dr. J. H. Round, " The 
Castles of the Conquest " (Archceologia, vol. Iviii., 1902, pp. 317 , 325). 


purpose of overawing the Saxon burh. The burh was, 
indeed, sacrificed to the castle. Before the Conquest, the 
city of York was divided into seven " scyrae," one of which 
belonged to the archbishop. Domesday Book records that, 
of the rest " una . . . est vastata in castellis." l And, while 
one fortress was set on the edge of the Saxon rampart 
which enclosed the northern burh, the other, as we have 
noted, was set well outside that of the southern burh, 
although at a later date it was included within the city by 
an extension of the ramparts. 

William I.'s great act of vengeance on the northern 
rebels was accomplished at the close of 1069, and he kept 
his Christmas at York, where the castles, fallen a prey to 
the insurgents, were reconstructed. 2 The result of his 
campaign is sufficiently apparent in the amount of waste 
land mentioned in the Yorkshire Domesday. To judge 
from the condition of the country, it is hardly probable that 
William's Norman grantees settled down on their Yorkshire 
property until it showed some signs of recovery. Military 
outposts, indeed, must have arisen on the frontiers of the 
wasted district not long after William's expedition. Rich- 
mond Castle was built by Earl Alan " to protect his tenants 
against the attacks of the English, who then had been dis- 
inherited everywhere, and of the Danes as well." 3 This 
was probably not long after 1071, when the death of the 
Saxon Earl Edwin occurred, and his estates were granted 
to Alan. In this case, we have a definite statement that 
the Norman earl, instead of raising his castle at Gilling, the 

1 D. B., i. 298 a i. Cf. Ord. Vit., as quoted (in note I, p. 238) above, 
and also iv. i (Migne, u.s., p. 306, col. 2 C); of Winchester Castle: "Intra 
mcenia Guentae . . . validam arcem construxit." 

2 Ord. Vit., iv. ^ (Migne, u.s., col. 319 C.) : " Rex autem tribunes et 
prsesides cum armatorum manu qui restaurarent in urbe castella direxit." 
Cf. iv. 8 (ibid., col. 321 A.): " Eboracum reversus complura illic castella 
restauravit," which suggests the reconstruction of other castles already 
founded between the Tees and Humber, and probably dismantled by the 
rebels and their Danish allies. 

3 Genealogia Comitum Richmundice (ex Regist. Honoris Rickmundice, 
MS. Cotton, Faust. B. vii.), printed ap. Dugdale, Mon. Angl., ed. Caley, 
&c., vol. v. p. 574 (Charters relating to Jervaulx Abbey, No. 15). 


site of the hall of the Saxon lord, built his "castrum et 
munitionem " in a place near Gilling, and gave it the 
French name of Richmond (divitem montem}. 1 Domesday, 
in its recapitulation of Yorkshire manors, mentions the one 
hundred and ninety-nine manors which were within the 
castellatus of Earl Alan. 2 The actual castle, however, is 
not mentioned ; nor is it possible to identify any one of 
Alan's Yorkshire possessions in 1086 with Richmond. 3 
The allusion to the York castles in Domesday has been 
referred to already. Domesday mentions one other castle 
in Yorkshire. " Tornoure " and some land in " Saxehale " 
are infra metam castelli : " Hesleuuode," " Mileforde," and 
other places are infra metam Ilbertit Ilbert de Lacy held 
very large grants of land in the West Riding; and the 
castle at Pontefract, the head of his honour, was certainly 
founded by him before io82. 5 The two castles at York, 
then, and the castles of Richmond and Pontefract, are 
alluded to or implied in Domesday. Add to this that the 
Chronicle of Meaux contains evidence for the founding of 
Skipsea Castle in the East Riding during the latter part of 
the eleventh century, 6 and that Ordericus Vitalis mentions 
the castle of "Blyth" in 1102, as having been previously 
a castle in the possession of Roger de Busli, 7 and we have 
all the evidence hitherto discovered as to the earliest castles 

1 Genealogia Comitum Richmundia., &c. (see note 3, p. 239). 

2 D. B., i. 340 a 2. 

3 See Mrs. Armitage's article alluded to (in note 3, p. 238), p. 423, note 24. 

* D. B., i. 336 b I. The full entry relating to Tornoure (Thorner) is: 
" Homines de Barcheston Wapent' et de Siraches Wapent' perhibent Osberno 
de Arcis testimonium quod Gulbertus antecessor eius habuit omnem Tornoure 
nesciunt cuius dono. Id est quatuor maneria octo carucatas terre. Sed omnis 
Tornoure sedet infra metam castelli Ilberti secundum primam mensuram et 
secundum nouissimam mensuram sedet extra." Cf. the entry relating to 
" Hesleuuode." 

5 Mrs. Armitage, .j., p. 417, cites a document printed by R. Holmes, 
Hist, of Pontefract, p. 62. 

Chronica Monasterii de Melsa, pars i. cap. vi. (ed. E. A. Bond, 1866, 
vol. i., p. 89) : " Dederat autem prsefatus rex dictam insulam de Holderne 
prius. . . . Drugoni de la Bouerar Flandrensi, qui construxit castellum de 

7 Ord. Vit., lib. xi. c. 3 (Migne, u.s., col. 791 C.) : " Unde rex ad Blidam 
castrum, quod Rogerii de Buthleio quondam fuerat, exercitum promovit." 

% $ 

o $ 

J Q 

* ^c 



J , 


in Yorkshire. The castle of Blyth is usually assumed to 
be Tickhill Castle, which is acknowledged to have lain 
within Roger's manor of Dadesley. 1 Blyth, just across the 
border of Nottinghamshire, was one of Roger's posses- 
sions ; 2 and the fact that he founded there a priory, may 
have led Ordericus into speaking of the castle under this 
name. 3 

These six castles were all of the " mound-and-bailey " 
type. This is not absolutely certain in the case of Rich- 
mond, but the subsequent development of plan there leads 
us to infer that there was no exception here. Mounds 
remain in the other instances; and at Pontefract, besides 
the mound which received such singular treatment in later 
years, there was another mound at the opposite end of the 
enclosure. 4 This was, no doubt, expedient in view of the 
exposed situation of the castle on its high promontory of 
rock, which demanded strong positions of defence on the 
north-east, towards the valley of the Aire, and on the 
south-west, above the town. 

Another important point, which has a direct bearing on 
the subject of military architecture, is that the defences of 
all these castles, except one, Richmond, were at first, and 
for some time continued to be, of wood. This has been 
stated already in connection with York Castle. Mrs. 
Armitage has collected evidence which fixes the date of the 
present stone keep, or at any rate of important permanent 
additions to the castle, between the thirtieth and forty-third 
years of Henry III. ; she also has shown that as late as 
1225 there was still, at all events in part, a timber palisade 
where we should expect a stone curtain. 5 It is not at all 

1 " Dadesleia" is mentioned in D. B., i. 319 a I. 

2 D. B., i. 285 a 2. Blyth was in the soke of the manor of Odesach 

3 Charter of foundation printed ap. Dugdale, Man. Angl. t u.s., iv. 623. 
See, on the vague name of " Blyth " given to Tickhill Castle, Dr. J. H. 
Round's article, mentioned above (in note 3, p. 238), p. 331. 

4 Mrs. Armitage (u.s., pp. 417-19) gives notes on Pontefract, in which 
the existence of two mounds is forcibly pointed out. 

5 u.s., pp. 445, 446. 



unlikely that the ^1927 odd devoted to the repair of the 
castrum by Henry III. included the cost of a stone curtain 
as well as that of a turris or donjon. None of the defensive 
masonry at Pontefract is of distinctly " Norman " character; 
the keep is probably contemporary with, or rather later than, 
the thirteenth-century keep at York. The fragment of 
" shell " keep which remains on the mound at Skipsea is 
obviously of later date than the mound itself; and at Tick- 
hill the remains of the decagonal " shell " are, like those at 
Lincoln, work of the latest part of the twelfth century. The 
gatehouse at Tickhill is probably the earliest piece of stone 
fortification in any of these castles, except Richmond ; and 
it is certainly not earlier than the twelfth century. This 
fidelity to timber defences must be taken into account when 
dealing with the comparative age of these works. Within 
Roger de Busli's honour of Tickhill occur at least two small 
" mound-and-bailey " enclosures, at Laughton-en-le-Morthen 
and Mexborough tolerably perfect earthworks, without a 
trace of stone masonry. 1 We can no longer accept with 
confidence the pre-Conquest date which used to be given to 
them. They may have been castles thrown up in command- 
ing positions by lieutenants of the lord of Tickhill, with 
a wooden keep on the mound, surrounded by a wooden 
stockade, such as we see depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry. 
They may even be " adulterine " castles of the time of 
Stephen, thrown up in haste on the traditional lines, and 
dismantled almost as soon as built. 2 The remains of the 
castles of the Mowbrays at Thirsk and Malzeard, as well as 
at Kinnard's Ferry in the Isle of Axholme, all dismantled 
after the Mowbray rebellion in the reign of Henry II., the 

1 There are plans of both in Clark, op. cit., i. 24, 25. 

2 Dr. J. H. Round makes special reference to the mounds at Laughton- 
en-le-Morthen and Barwick-in-Elmet, Castles of the Conquest, u.s.,p. 333. 
He says: " But we must remember that, as was done by William himself at 
Hastings, a castle mound would be thrown up at once for defence against a 
hostile population by the new Norman lord, and might afterwards be aban- 
doned by him for another site. Ilbert de Lacy, for instance, may . . . 
have abandoned Barwick for Pontefract." 


mound of the Bishop of Durham's castle at Northallerton, 
dismantled about the same time, show no traces of stone- 
work. 1 One is led to the conclusion that the castle build- 
ings of the later eleventh and earlier twelfth centuries were, 
save in exceptional instances, of timber; that stone de- 
fences did not become usual until the reign of Henry II., 
nor general until much later. 

The castle of Richmond, in the exceptional nature of its 
defences, takes a first place among the castles of Yorkshire. 
It stands on high ground to the south of the town, where a 
triangular promontory descends in precipices into the river 
Swale. 'Although it is commanded by higher ground, and 
would be an indefensible position in modern warfare, a finer 
situation for a mediaeval castle could not well have been 
chosen. The present entrance is in the north-east curtain. 
On the right of the entrance, at the head of the triangular 
space formed by the castle enclosure, is the high stone keep, 
higher and narrower than the ordinary rectangular keep, 
which is said to have been the work of Earl Conan before 
his death in 1171. The south wall of the keep is actually 
built on the curtain. To the left of the entrance, in the east 
curtain, is the doorway into a small chapel of early Norman 
work, which is probably that chapel in the castle of Rich- 
mond which Alan gave to St. Mary's Abbey at York. 2 
Opposite the entrance, at the far end of the ward, and 
placed against the south-east part of the curtain, is a range 

1 Malzeard was taken in May 1174 by Geoffrey Plantagenet, Bishop-elect 
of Lincoln, and Roger, Archbishop of York (Ben. Pet., Gesta Henrici secundi, 
ed. Stubbs, 1867, i. 68, 69). Geoffrey gave the custody of it to Roger, and 
that of a castle, which he firmavit at Topcliffe, to; William d'Estouteville. 
Northallerton and Thirsk were surrendered to Henry II. at Northampton on 
3ist July (ibid., i. 73). Thirsk and Malzeard were demolished in 1176 (ibid., 
i. 126, 127) ; also Northallerton (Rog. de Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, 1869, ii. 101). 
Hoveden calls Northallerton "castellum novum de Alvertun" (ibid., and 
ii. 65). Dr. Round (M.S., pp. 325-327) shows that the phrase "castellum 
firmare " which Hoveden applies to his castellum novum, means to erect a 
castle on a new site. 

2 See charter of Henry II. ap. Dugdale, Men. Angl., u.s., iii. 548 (Charters 
relating to St. Mary's Abbey, No. 5), "Alanus comes Rufus . . . [dedit] 
, . . ecclesiam de Richemund et capellam de castello," 


of domestic buildings, of which the chief is the two-storeyed 
fabric known as Scolland's Hall. The west side of the 
enclosure is occupied by modern barracks. 

The early Norman masonry includes a large portion of 
the curtain-wall. Herring-bone work, a very sure sign of 
early date, occurs along the south-western curtain. We 
have spoken of the chapel. The lowest stage of the keep 
is very different in character from those above it, and its 
semicircular - headed doorway, supported by shafts with 
volute ornaments on the capitals, is beyond all doubt a 
work of the eleventh century. The domestic buildings, as 
may be expected, are of various dates ; but the fabric of the 
hall seems also to belong to the eleventh century. 

What are we to gather from these remains ? Richmond 
may from the beginning have been a fortress with a square 
tower-keep, like the Tower of London, or Colchester Castle. 
But, if so, the keep has gone ; and the existence of early 
domestic buildings outside the keep which was in most 
cases not merely a stronghold, but a residence as well 
proves that, if it existed, its accommodation was not large. 
There were, however, some indications at one time of a 
mound ; l and it seems possible that Alan's castle followed 
the " mound-and-bailey " plan. The curtain was of stone ; 
and the entrance was through the gateway now forming the 
entrance to the lowest stage of the keep. The gateway 
may have been protected towards the town by a barbican, 
or it may have formed from the beginning the lowest stage 
of a tower, like the keep at Ludlow in which case, the 
tower has been rebuilt. The hall and kitchen, and other 
domestic apartments, were built at the far side of the bailey, 
where it was least exposed to attack. This early occur- 
rence of permanent household buildings in a castle is most 
unusual. The loci classici in the works of early French 
historians clearly point to the fact that the wooden donjons 

1 Mrs. Armitage's notes on Richmond will be found u.s. t pp. 422-424. At 
Newcastle, till the early part of the nineteenth century, traces remained of the 
mound which was superseded by the later tower-keep. 


were planned for domestic use, and were so used out of 
time of siege. 1 The huge rectangular towers of the 
Conqueror, at London and Colchester, were designed with a 
similar view; and no one can visit the later towers of 
Hedingham, Newcastle-on-Tyne, or Castle Rising, without 
recognising their ample provision for accommodation. 2 The 
sense of gloominess and discomfort inseparable from these 
great works may have been the cause which led to the 
short-lived popularity of the rectangular keep. The demand 
for greater space and comfort led to such buildings as 
Pudsey's halls along the north curtain at Durham, or Henry 
III.'s hall, which existed in the inner ward at Newcastle. 
It was not often that, as at Warkworth, the lord of a castle 
went back to live on the motte; and, even then, his 
arrangements for comfort were thought insufficient by his 
successors, who returned to the courtyard. 

The rectangular keep of Richmond took the place of 
the keep on the motte, or of an earlier keep above the 
gateway, during the third quarter of the twelfth century. 
Built as a projection from the line of the northern curtain, 
its ground storey was entirely closed on the side of the 
town ; and the entrance arch, which was left open, became 
merely an entrance from the bailey into the keep. At 
first the great tower seems to have had only two stages 
above the ground-floor: later, a third stage was added. 
The internal arrangements show no provision for ordinary 
residence : this was supplied by the hall within the bailey. 
A newel-stair, now blocked, was built at a later date inside 
the south-west corner of the ground-floor, and afforded 
access from the first floor to this chamber, where the well 
was situated. But there is an entrance to the first floor 
from the chemin de ronde of the ramparts, on the east side 

1 See the quotations referring to the donjons of Ardres and Merchem, ap. 
Enlart, Manuel <? Archtologie Franfaise, vol. ii., 1904, pp. 497-500. The 
second of these passages is also quoted by Clark (op. cit., L 33, 34), although 
it is difficult to see how it adds strength to his theory. 

1 See the plan of the keep of Castle Rising, ap. Clark, op. fit., i. 366. 


of the tower; and from this a straight staircase in the 
thickness of the wall leads to the second floor level. From 
the second floor another straight staircase, in the upper 
part of the same wall, leads to the third stage, or, as now, 
to the walk at the back of the battlements of the keep, the 
roof occurring above the second stage. Nothing could be 
more sombre than the interior of this tower, which has 
nothing in common with the comparative spaciousness of 
towers like the great keep of Newcastle. The keep of 
Richmond is purely a defensive structure. The cross-wall 
or walls which divide the floors of some tower-keeps into 
two or more rooms are wanting ; there is no fore-building 
to contain a stair of approach with a chapel or vestibules to 
the lower floor beneath it ; even the ordinary mural chambers 
of the tower-keep are lacking. At a date later than the 
erection of the tower the ground-storey was vaulted from a 
central pillar, within which was the well-shaft ; at this time, 
too, the newel-stair from the first floor was probably made. 
The mound, if there was one, was levelled, and its site 
seems to have been converted into a barbican covering 
the new entrance to the castle. 1 

There are two other rectangular donjons within the 
territory of Earl Alan. It has been pointed out that, with 
the two notable exceptions raised by the Conqueror, the 
tower-keep is a feature in the castle-plan which belongs 
to the latter half of the twelfth century. The towers of 
Middleham and Bowes probably belong to its last quarter, 
the date usually assigned to Middleham being as late as 
The great keep of Middleham, low in proportion 

1 There is a valuable account of Richmond Castle by Mr. J. F. Curwen, in 
the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Archaological Society. 
His attribution of Scolland's Hall to the later part of the twelfth century is 
discredited, however, by the character of the masonry. This was shown 
clearly during the Durham meeting of the Archaeological Institute (1908) by 
Mr. St. John Hope and Mr. J. Bilson. 

2 There is an account of the keep of Middleham by G. T. Clark (op. /., 
ii., 293-300), who assumed it to be the work of Robert Fitz-Ranulf, the 
grandson of Ribald, the founder of the castle, and grand-nephew of Earl Alan, 
about 1190. 



to the length and breadth of its oblong plan, stands in the 
middle of the castle ; the curtain and adjacent buildings are 
for the most part the work of the Nevilles, who obtained the 
lordship of Middleham early in the fourteenth century, by 
the marriage of Robert Neville with the heiress of the 
younger branch of the house of Alan. Of the early history 
of Bowes Castle nothing is known ; and all traces of the 
enclosure except the tower, of smaller proportions than that 
of Middleham, are gone. The tower of Bowes was entered 
from the first floor, probably by a wooden staircase; the 
stages, three in number, were undivided by a cross-wall : 
vaulting, as at Richmond, was inserted in the ground-storey 
at a date later than the actual work of building. 1 The tower 
of Middleham, on the other hand, was entered from the first 
floor by a fore-building and barbican-tower, which covered 
a portion of its eastern side ; in the fore-building was the 
chapel, not, as at Newcastle, beneath the staircase, but 
opening from the main entrance-landing, opposite the door- 
way of the keep. A partition-wall divides the two stages 
of tower into eastern and western portions. The eastern 
and larger portion was raised a stage higher towards the 
end of the Middle Ages. This keep may fairly be called 
residential, in distinction from the purely defensive character 
of the tower of Richmond. 

Two more tower-keeps of twelfth-century date are found 
in the North Riding. The tower of Scarborough was 
probably built by Henry II. after his annexation of the 
castle to the Crown. 2 It is of three stages : the main 
entrance, like that of the tower of Bamburgh, was on the 
ground floor, but was protected by a fore-building, or 

1 Description and plan of Bowes ap. Clark, op. ctt., i. 259-264. 

2 William of Newburgh, lib. ii. cap. 2, records the surrender of Scar- 
borough Castle to Henry II. early in his reign by William, Count of Aumale, 
and devotes cap. 3 to a description of the site. He says that Count William, 
" totam rupis planitiem muro amplexus est, et turrim in faucium angustiis 
fabricavit qua processu temporis collapsa, arcem magnam et praeclaram Rex 
ibidem oadificari prsecepit." The Pipe Rolls contain evidence as to the 
progress of the work. Henry II. committed the castle to the custody of 
Archbishop Roger in May 1177 (Ben. Pet., u.s., i. 160). 


barbican. The first floor was divided into two, as at Hed- 
ingham, by an arch, which carried the partition-wall of 
the floor above. The magnificent position of the castle 
is familiar to almost every one. The cliff, nearly isolated 
by a deep ravine from the mainland, is approached by a 
narrow and steep neck of rock, defended by a gatehouse 
and barbican. The inner entrance leads us at once into 
the ward which contains the keep. Beyond this, separated 
from the main ward by a cross-curtain, was a large ward 
occupying the seaward portion of the summit of the cliff. 
A somewhat similar disposition of plan, but with a notice- 
able difference in the size of the chief ward, occurs at the 
fourteenth-century castle of Dunstanburgh in Northumber- 
land. 1 The plan of Scarborough suggests that the prin- 
cipal ward, at the entrance of the castle, represents the 
" mound-and-bailey ". castle of the Counts of Aumale. It 
is possible that, when Henry II. annexed the fortress, he 
levelled the mound and raised the tower on its site, and 
enlarged the plan to include a garrison-ward on the sea- 
ward side. A hall, known as the King's Hall, and other 
domestic buildings, were added in process of time along 
the south curtain. The other tower, probably the latest 
of the series in date, is that of Helmsley Castle, which 
may not have been built till the early years of the 
thirteenth century. 2 The interest of the tower of Helms- 
ley is overshadowed, however, by that of the double line 
of earthworks which surround the castle. The plan, 
with its two encircling ditches and its front and back 
approaches, takes us forward in thought to the concentric 
plans of the later part of the thirteenth century to 
Caerphilly or Harlech. It is no case here of an original 
elongated plan which, like that of the Tower of London, 
has become concentric by expansion the plan of Helmsley 
Castle must have been concentric from the first. 

1 The licence to crenellate Dunstanburgh was granted (9 Edw. II.) to 
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster (T. H. Turner, Dom. Arch, in England, iii. 407). 

2 G. T. Clark, in his account of Helmsley Castle (op. cit., ii. 100-108), 
assigned the work to Robert de Ros, surnamed Fursan. 


Richmond and Scarborough, it has been said already, 
are examples of castles where possibly mounds have been 
levelled and rectangular tower-keeps built instead. It may 
have been the intention of the early Norman castle- founders 
to build stone towers on their mounds after the newly piled 
earth, in the course of years, had hardened. But the heavy 
rectangular tower was ill suited to the conical mound ; and 
even where, as at Hedingham, the mound was retained, 
it was retained only in part. If the mound was kept intact 
on the addition of the masonry, the keep took a lighter 
form and a polygonal shape. The top of the mound was 
not weighted with a stone tower, but surrounded -by an 
independent curtain-wall, whose shape exercised an even 
pressure on the surface of the artificial earthwork below. 
This curtain took the place of the stockade of timber which 
had fortified the mound previously ; and it is possible that 
it girt about, as the stockade had done, the wooden tower- 
keep of the early founders. The most conspicuous ex- 
amples of these polygonal keeps are at Pickering, where 
the wall is circular internally, and at Tickhill. In neither 
case was masonry added on the mound until quite late in 
the twelfth century. Tickhill Castle occupies a "mound- 
and-bailey" site; and the earliest masonry extant there 
is probably the Norman gatehouse. 1 At Pickering the 
mound is nearly central, and forms a break in the curtain 
between the two wards. Whatever the early history of 
Pickering may be, the keep was probably the earliest 
addition in stone to the castle. The curtain and the 
rectangular towers which guard it are later in date; and 
their building may have been attended by an expansion 
of the plan into two wards. 2 

The two periods of castle-construction during the 

1 The account of Tickhill Castle, by Clark (op. cit., ii. 494-499), is a 
striking instance of his use of the theory of the foundation of Norman castles, 
to whose untrustworthiness allusion has been made. See his concluding 
remarks on p. 499. 

2 For Pickering, see Clark (op. cit., ii. 368-375). Once more an English 
origin is claimed for the earthwork (p. 372). 


Norman and early Plantagenet epochs, allowing for excep- 
tions, are : first, a period of earthworks of a fixed type, with 
timber defences; and, second, a period in which plans are 
enlarged and defences are built, at least in part, of stone. 
This second period, in Yorkshire, follows the triumph of 
Henry II. over the Mowbray rebellion. The earthen castles 
of the rebels were stripped of their defences : old castles, 
like Scarborough, were strengthened and transformed. 
However, the form of defensive tower adopted, both for 
keep and curtain-tower, was still rectangular. The diffi- 
culty of defending the rectangular tower is obvious; its 
projecting angles demand a concentration of defence on 
points isolated from one another, and impede a compre- 
hensive survey of the attacking force. The angles also 
lend themselves easily to undermining or the use of the 
battering-ram : when once the attacking force has an angle 
of the tower at its mercy, the tower is virtually taken. The 
French engineers of the twelfth century recognised the 
advantage of the round form for their donjons and curtain- 
towers ; 1 and, at the very end of the twelfth century, their 
system was adopted by English masters of fortification. 
The cylindrical tower covered the approaches to the fortress 
more thoroughly than the rectangular, and therefore was 
more easy to defend. The battering-ram could do little 
damage to its wedge-shaped stones and the broad outward 
slope of its base ; the miner could begin operations only 
in full view of the defenders. The older keeps depended 
on the massive thickness of their walls for safety: they 
were great bulks of passive masonry. The cylindrical 
towers were at once more impregnable and better fitted 
to be centres of active warfare. 

Our Yorkshire castles of this date can hardly supply us 
with adequate parallels to the great French and Norman 

1 For a statement of the advantages of the convex curve in fortification, 
see Enlart (op. cit., ii. 455). Illustrations and plans of Chateau Gaillardand 
Coucy, &c., will be found in the same volume. Clark describes both these 
castles (op. cit., i. 37 8 -3 8 S 476-487)- 


fortifications of the period. The donjon of Conisbrough 
is far smaller than the gigantic donjon of Coucy. The 
small solid round towers on the curtains of Conisbrough, 
Knaresborough, and Scarborough are of the same class as 
those which, set closely side by side, emboss the inner 
curtain of Chateau Gaillard, but their scale of design is far 
less imposing. Still, Conisbrough becomes immense when 
compared with the cylindrical donjons of the Welsh border, 
where such towers are most common Bronllys, Tretower, 
Hawarden. Conisbrough, the head of the Yorkshire barony 
of the Earls of Warren, occupies a strong situation on a hill 
above the Don, where it passes in a narrow valley through 
the high-lying ground between Rotherham and Doncaster. 1 
Probably the site of an old hall or palace of the kings of 
Northumbria, it afforded a fit site for a Norman strong- 
hold ; and the first castle which occupied the top of the hill, 
although no definite evidence exists on this point, was most 
likely of the " mound-and-bailey " class. The top of the hill 
now forms the inner ward, which is surrounded by the 
curtain-wall to whose solid round towers allusion has been 
made already. The keep stands on the line of the curtain, 
near the north-east corner, partly inside the ward, partly 
projecting outwards. It is a hollow cylinder of masonry, 
in its present state about ninety feet high, and fifty-two feet 
in diameter above the basement. It is surrounded at in- 
tervals by six heavy rectangular buttresses. The masonry 
of the lower portion slopes outwards very considerably. 
The tower in elevation consists of a basement, three upper 
storeys, and a battlement-stage, the centre of which probably 
contained a cylindrical kitchen, which also could have 

1 G. T. Clark (op. fit., i. 431-453) has a very elaborate description of 
Conisbrough, with several illustrations and plans of great interest. If (as is 
likely) Conisbrough was an important place in early Saxon times, it does not 
follow that Saxon earthworks (if there were any here) were employed by 
Norman builders. Sandal, another Yorkshire castle of the Warrens, has a 
moated mound of the usual Norman type, with fragments of masonry of a 
much later date. There is a plan of Sandal in the programme of the Yorkshire 
Archaeological Society's excursion to Wakefield, September 22, 1905. 


served as a kind of round-house for the defenders, with a 
conical roof. The basement, which contains the well, is 
approached only through a hole in the first floor, and, in 
common with other dark apartments of the kind, has given 
rise to fanciful stories of the cruelty of the feudal baron. 
The main entrance, now approached directly by a flight of 
steps, is on the first floor. Here would have been the guard- 
room or salle d'armes of the keep. A staircase winds through 
the thickness of the wall to the first floor; and similar 
staircases lead from the first to the second floor, and from 
the second floor to the rampart-stage. The first and second 
floors are each occupied by a single apartment, with adjacent 
mural chambers. Each room contains a very handsome 
fireplace and a water-drain in the north-west part of the 
wall; and, on the second floor, the south-east buttress is 
hollowed out into a chapel, with two bays of ribbed vaulting, 
and with a small mural sacristy or priest's chamber attached. 
At the rampart-level, the top of one of the buttresses is 
hollowed out to form an oven ; two of the rest contain 
cisterns, and another is pierced in a way which has 
suggested to Mr. Clark, and others, that it may have been 
intended as a house for carrier-pigeons. The attempt to 
combine fairly comfortable domestic accommodation with 
provision for a siege is very noticeable here. The masonry, 
of large blocks of yellowy- white sandstone, remarkably fine- 
jointed and fresh-looking, seems to belong to the very end 
of the twelfth century; the architectural character of the 
chapel points, at any rate, to its last quarter. In 1163, 
Isabel, heiress of the third Earl of Warren and Surrey, 
married, as her second husband, Hamelin, a bastard brother 
of Henry II. Hamelin, who was styled Earl of Warren, 
died in 1201 ; his wife in 1199. The donjon, therefore, was 
almost certainly built in their lifetime. The curtain of the 
inner ward seems rather later in date. 

The approach to the inner ward at Conisbrough shows 
that advance in military planning which marks the opening 
of the thirteenth century. A deep hollow cuts off the hill 



of the inner ward from the village of Conisbrough. This 
hollow formed the outer ward of the castle. When the ditch 
that divided the outer ward from the hill was crossed, a 
narrow path led along the side of the hill to the inner 
gateway. This pathway formed a barbican to the inner 
ward ; on one side was the inner curtain, on the other a 
covering wall. An invading party, who had stormed the 
outer ward, would have to pass in file along this narrow 
passage to gain the inner, and would be at the mercy of 
the defending garrison on the ramparts. Let them once 
occupy the inner ward, and before them would be the 
impregnable keep, with its doorway fast closed, the draw- 
bridge which led to it from the steps drawn up, twenty feet 
above the ground, and its battering base forbidding close 
access to the wall, and exposing them to the fire of the 
defenders, whose dropping missiles fell directly on them, or 
rebounded on them from the talus of the keep. The 
difficulty and tediousness of siege-warfare is obvious. 
With a powerful baronage owning such strongholds, it is also 
obvious that it was to the advantage of the crown to obtain 
the ownership, if possible. 

The thirteenth-century keep of York Castle, now known 
as Clifford's Tower, consists of four round towers attached 
in quatrefoil form. Closely allied to this in shape, but with 
an important difference in the treatment of its site, was 
the keep 1 of Pontefract, of which the fourth tower, if 
there was one, is gone. This keep is of a date pro- 
bably not long subsequent to that of Clifford's Tower. 
But, while Clifford's Tower is built on the motte of 
the Conqueror's castle, the south-western motte at Ponte- 
fract is enclosed within a solid wall of revetement which 
forms the base of the keep. This is not an unique in- 
stance of such an enclosure, for at Berkeley, in the twelfth 
century, the motte, or rather its lower portion, the upper 

1 Pontefract is described by Clark, op, fit., ii. 375-388, who overlooked 
the existence of a second mound in this remarkable plan. 


having been levelled, had been encased by the lower courses 
of the walls, which, with their fore-building, give to the inner 
ward the appearance and strength of a huge rectangular 
tower-keep ; l and the tower-keep at Kenilworth had possibly 
enclosed the lower part, at any rate, of the levelled mound. 2 
But the keep at Pontefract belongs to a different class of 
fabric ; and neither at Berkeley nor at Kenilworth was the 
mound treated as a solid bastion which supported and gave 
additional strength to the keep. Pontefract, the fortress 
of the Lacies and their descendants, the Earls of Lincoln, 
was called the " Key of Yorkshire " ; 3 and its history is 
more full of events than that of any other castle in the 
shire. The ownership of the castle reverted from time to 
time to the crown ; and, during the reigns of Henry I. and 
Stephen, it was bestowed twice on a royal grantee, in con- 
sequence of the disaffection of the second Ilbert de Lacy. 
The heiress of the first line of Lacy married Richard Fitz- 
Eustace, constable of Chester, the son of Eustace Fitz-John, 
the lord of Knaresborough and Malton Castles, and the 
founder of the line which owned the castles of Alnwick 
and Warkworth. The son of Albreda de Lacy and Richard 
Fitz-Eustace took the name of Lacy; and this second house 
of Lacy, which acquired the earldom of Lincoln by mar- 
riage early in the thirteenth century, held, with a few 
intervals, the castle and honour of Pontefract for more 
than a century. In 1310 Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln 
and, through his wife, of Salisbury, died. In his lifetime 
he had granted his castle to Edward I., and had received 
a re-grant of it, with remainder to the king's brother, 

1 See Clark, op. cit., i. 236: "Evidently the Norman builder, finding a 
moated mound of no great height, but of considerable breadth, built his shell 
round it, as at Pontefract, as a revetement wall." Here the influence of Mr. 
Clark's favourite theory is clearly discernible. 

2 Clark, u.s., ii. 181, notes that the walls of the keep include and are built 
against a decidedly artificial mound, from 10 to 15 feet high. 

8 See a letter from R. de Nevill to Henry III. (1263), printed by Rymer, 
Fadera, vol. i. pt. i. 1816, p. 429: "Ad hoc bonum esset ut michi videbor, 
et tutum quod castrum de Pontefracto, quod est quasi clavis in comitatu 
Eborum, viris potentibus esset praemunitum." 


Edmund, Earl of Lancaster. Earl Henry's daughter and 
heiress, Alice, married the son of Edmund, the ill-fated 
Thomas, who, defeated at Boroughbridge in 1322, was 
executed at Pontefract, and was venerated popularly as a 
saint and martyr. Pontefract Castle was restored, with 
the other possessions of Thomas, which included Picker- 
ing Castle, to his brother Henry ; and through Blanche, 
the granddaughter of Earl Henry, it passed, with her 
duchy of Lancaster, to her husband, John of Gaunt. 
With the accession to the throne of his son, Henry IV., 
it became permanently a crown castle. During John of 
Gaunt's ownership a range of buildings was added at the 
north-west end of the enclosure, whose erection certainly 
involved the revetement of the second mound of which 
mention has been made. The subsequent history of the 
castle is full of famous incidents. Here it was that 
Richard II. died or was murdered. In the Wars of the 
Roses, Pontefract was the base of operations from which 
Edward IV. went out to the victory of Towton. It was 
the prison and place of execution of Earl Rivers and his 
companions after the coup d'etat struck by the Duke of 
Gloucester at Northampton. In 1536 it was somewhat 
too tamely surrendered by Lord Darcy to the leaders of 
the Pilgrimage of Grace. Its three sieges in the Parlia- 
mentary Wars form the most stirring episode of that period 
in Yorkshire. It survived its first siege, and remained a 
Royalist stronghold after the battle of Marston Moor and 
the taking of York. Forced to surrender in 1645, ^ was 
again manned by a Royalist garrison, and withstood a third 
siege, surrendering in 1649. 

John of Gaunt, who had acquired Pontefract Castle 
by marriage, became lord also of Pickering by the same 
alliance. By an arrangement with his father, he acquired 
the royal castle of Tickhill in 1362. Tickhill, the fortress 
of Roger de Busli and his son Robert, had been held after 
Robert's death by the famous Robert de Belleme. On his 
rebellion it had been resumed by the Crown. It had been 


held by John during his rebellion against Richard I., and 
had undergone a siege in 1322, during the revolt of Thomas 
of Lancaster. In 1371 Edward III. also granted Knares- 
borough Castle to John of Gaunt. The remarkable keep 
of Knaresborough l had been built earlier in the fourteenth 
century, possibly at the beginning of the reign of Edward III. 
This rectangular building, about 80 feet high, and forming 
an oblong of 64 feet by 52, stands on the line of the curtain ; 
but a cross-curtain seems to have crossed the enclosure 
from it, and to have divided the castle area into two wards. 
The first floor of the keep formed the gatehouse between 
the two wards, the doorway to the outer ward being furnished 
with a portcullis, and having been approached possibly by 
a gradually rising causeway on arches. This entrance is in 
the south-east face. A wider doorway in the south-west 
face led to the stairs by which the inner ward was ap- 
proached. This instance of a rectangular keep on such a 
large scale is unusually late ; the use of the first floor in 
this way would seem to be unique. The Knaresborough 
keep has also in its basement a chamber probably intended 
as a prison ; chambers made with this special intention 
are very rare at an early date. The service to which 
store-rooms, cellars, and meaner offices have been put in 
later and probably more barbarous ages is hastily assumed 
to have been their original employment. As a matter 
of fact, very few positive examples of prison-chambers 
may be cited earlier than this one at Knaresborough, and 
the probably slightly earlier one in the gatehouse of the 
inner ward at Alnwick. Another, not dissimilar to that 
at Alnwick, but later in date, occurs in the early fifteenth- 
century keep at Warkworth. A further point about 
Knaresborough Castle is its elaborately vaulted kitchen 
on the ground floor of the keep. The residential purpose 
of the keep is thus indicated ; if it did not supply all the 
accommodation necessary for a royal visit, banquets, at 

1 Knaresborough is described by G. T. Clark, op. cit., ii. 168-176. 


' . ^ A. 


any rate, could be held in the great chamber on the second 
storey, and that chamber would serve for the lodging of a 
large number of the king's retinue. As a reversion to an 
earlier type of keep, Knaresborough shows none of that 
originality in planning which marks that masterpiece among 
fortified mansions, the later mound-keep at Warkworth. 

The transition from the military stronghold to the forti- 
fied mansion is noticeable in such a building as Gilling 
Castle, south of Helmsley, where, in the course of the 
fourteenth century, a member of the family of Elton built 
the large tower-house, the basement of which remains as 
the substructure of the eastern part of the present building. 
Its remarkable area, as compared with that of other mansions 
of the time in which the tower-plan was adopted e.g. the 
fortified towers of Northumberland has been commented 
on by Mr. Bilson. 1 The most striking example, however, 
of a fortress-mansion is Bolton Castle, in Wensleydale, 
built by Richard, Lord Scrope, in the second half of the 
fourteenth century. 2 The house is rectangular in shape, 
planned with a projecting tower at each of the four angles, 
and with an internal courtyard. There is no moat, nor any 
distinct sign of an outer bailey, or "barmkin," as it would 
have been called in the strong-houses of Northumberland. 
The castle chapel, which stands to the north of the building, 
at some distance from the walls, may have been within 
some outer enclosure originally. While the strength of the 
building was well attended to, its domestic arrangements 
were also carefully provided for. Two halls remain, a larger 
and smaller, 3 their floor-levels being upon the stage above 
the ground floor. Such halls, with kitchens and other 

1 Gilling Castle, by John Bilson, F.S.A., in Yorks. Arch.Journ., vol. xix., 
1907, pp. 105-192. Mr. Bilson (p. 143) is inclined to attribute the building 
to Thomas de Elton (fl. 1354-1495). 

2 The licence to crenellate is dated 1379. See list of licences, ap. T. H. 
Turner, Dom. Arch, in England, vol. iii., 1859, p. 418. 1379 is also the date 
at which John, Lord Neville, received licence to crenellate Raby Castle. 

3 See T. H. Turner's account of the castle, ibid.,\\. 227-231, with the 
quotation from Leland, Itinerary, viii. f. 53. 



domestic apartments, we have seen introduced within the 
curtain at an early date, as at Richmond, or as an after- 
thought in times long subsequent to the foundation of the 
castle, as at Scarborough. For a nearer connection between 
the castle and its "lodgings," where the "lodgings" are 
not a mere encroachment upon the enclosure, but form the 
natural inner facing of the curtain, we have to go to 
Caerphilly and its successors among the Welsh castles. 
At Bolton and kindred houses, there is no more question of 
a curtain to protect the lodgings. Their walls, with outer 
as well as inner windows, are the walls of the castle 
enclosure ; and Bolton, with all its defensive features, has 
points in common with a small and inconspicuously defended 
manor-house like Markenfield. 1 The plan with rectangular 
towers at the angles, either with or without a central court- 
yard, is found frequently in the north, where a larger 
area was required than the tower-house would permit. 
Lumley Castle, near Chester-le-Street, rebuilt in 1392, is 
a case in point which may be compared with Bolton. The 
plan of Bolton was probably followed at Sheriff Hutton, 
when the castle was rebuilt by John, Lord Neville of Raby, 
who also was the builder of Raby Castle, and lies buried in 
Durham Cathedral. 2 Sheriff Hutton Castle is now in a 
state of utter ruin ; but large fragments of its angle towers 
remain, and are a familiar sight, on their hill some two or 
three miles north of the railway, to the traveller from York 
to Scarborough. There were, at any rate, earthworks of 
earlier date at Sheriff Hutton, and the enclosure was larger 
than at Bolton, including an outer bailey. Both Sheriff 
Hutton and Middleham formed part of the Neville estates 
which came to Richard, Earl of Salisbury and Warwick, 
the "King-maker." After Warwick's revolt and death at 
Barnet, Edward IV. granted the castles to his brother 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who afterwards married 

1 For Markenfield, see Turner, u.s., ii. 231-234. 

2 The licence to crenellate Sheriff Hutton bears date 5 Rich. II. (1381) 
(Turner, u.s., iii. 419). 


Anne Neville, the daughter of Warwick. As Richard III., 
Gloucester imprisoned his nephew Edward, the son of 
Clarence, at Sheriff Hutton ; and it was from here that 
Henry VII. transferred him to the Tower. Here, too, 
Elizabeth of York was kept in custody; and from Sheriff 
Hutton she was taken to London to marry Henry VII. 1 

Wressel Castle, at the confluence of the Ouse and Der- 
went, and Snape Castle, between Bedale and Masham, are 
other examples of quadrangular fortified houses with angle- 
towers. Snape, which is fairly perfect, belonged to a branch 
of the Nevilles who obtained by marriage the barony of 
Latimer. Danby, a fourteenth-century castle of the'Latimers 
in Cleveland, which also became Neville property, was of a 
similar plan. Wressel, built by Thomas Percy, Earl of 
Worcester, brother of the first Earl of Northumberland, 
became the chief Yorkshire house of the Percys, whose 
original Yorkshire home was at Topcliffe, near Thirsk. 
Only part of one side of Wressel remains ; but it was a 
house of great size and splendour. Another important 
Percy house was Spofforth Castle, near Knaresborough, of 
which there are considerable ruins. 2 Harewood Castle was 
another quadrangular mansion, which was probably built 
and fortified by Sir William de Aldburgh in i^b?. 3 A 
projecting gateway led into the screens between the hall and 
kitchen, while the rest of the house lay round the quad- 
rangle beyond. This plan, however, is that of a dwelling- 
house pure and simple ; the crenellations and the portcullis 
of the entrance-gateway are all that give it a right to be 

1 A miniature effigy of a male figure wearing a coronet, in the north chancel- 
chapel of Sheriff Hutton Church, has been supposed to be that of a member 
of the house of York ; and it has been suggested that it is the effigy of the 
infant son of Richard III. and Anne Neville, who died at Middleham. The 
arms on the tomb, however, are those of Neville ; and the miniature effigy 
does not necessarily imply that the tomb covers the grave of an infant. Such 
effigies, set up above the graves of adults, are to be seen in Colyton and 
Marldon churches, South Devon ; and not improbably the effigy at Haccombe 
near Newton Abbot, may be reckoned with these. 

2 The licence to crenellate bears date 2 Edw. II. (ibid., iii. 405). 
s Ibidem.. 416. 


called a castle. Of other castles of later date we have traces 
and sometimes substantial remains, but of their plans it is 
difficult to say much. This is the case with Cawood, the 
castle of the archbishops of York, near the meeting of Ouse 
and Wharfe. Here the tower-gatehouse, apparently of a 
quadrangle like that at Harewood, is left, with some build- 
ings adjacent on either side ; the gatehouse is built of grey 
Yorkshire stone, and above its outer gateway are the arms 
of Archbishop Kempe, who was translated from York to 
Canterbury in 1452. The castle of the bishops of Durham 
at Crayke, on a high hill overlooking the forest of Galtres 
and the distant city of York, is a rectangular building of the 
middle of the fifteenth century, but has been much restored 
from its ruined condition, to serve as a modern residence. 
At Whorlton, between Northallerton and Stokesley, the fine 
and massively built gate-tower of the castle of the Meynills 
still stands ; but of the rest of the castle buildings very little 
indeed is left. The gate-tower is of the later part of the 
fourteenth century. The position of the castle, if less abrupt 
than that of Crayke, is very striking on a steep spur of the 
Cleveland hills, sloping to the valley of the Leven on the 
north, backed by the high summits which flank the entrance 
of Scugdale, and with the old parish church of Whorlton, 
now unfortunately in ruins, at its side. A very picturesque 
gatehouse-tower at Tanfield, near Masham, is all that re- 
mains of the strong-house of the Marmions. 1 It is of the 
fifteenth century, and, with its small first-floor bay-window 
corbelled out above the gateway, is, like the Cawood gate- 
house, of a type more domestic than the military gate-tower 
at Whorlton. What remains of the castle of the Fitzhughs 
at Ravensworth, near Richmond, is also of fifteenth-century 

With the progress of the Tudor period, castle-building 
ceases ; and the large dwelling-house, with its light and 

1 Ibid., iii. 407 (8 Edw. II.), there is a licence to John Marmyon to 
crenellate " Mansum suum quod vocatur L'ermitage in bosco suo de" 


comfort, takes the place of the fortified mansion. Thus, 
at Skipton Castle, purely domestic work, with broad 
mullioned windows, of the reign of Henry VIII., may be 
seen in close proximity to military work of the early part 
of the fourteenth century. Above the fourteenth-century 
work at Gilling, we have Elizabethan work of the most 
beautiful description, rich with painting, plaster-work, and 
stained glass. 1 Slingsby Castle, to the east of Gilling, 
has wide mullioned windows, which apparently were in- 
serted in earlier walls the date of which is rather hard 
to determine at the beginning of the seventeenth century. 2 
Warfare in which castles played a principal part had ceased ; 
and the castle, if it was not left for more cheerful quarters, 
became a residence and nothing more. One revival of 
castle warfare is seen in the Pilgrimage of Grace. The 
insurgents took Pontefract Castle, and attempted to take 
the castles of Scarborough and Skipton. But it was during 
the Parliamentary Wars that the last attempt in England 
at warfare by siege and defence took place. The castles 
were held, for the most part, by Royalists, and formed 
strong centres of disaffection. York, relieved for a time 
by Prince Rupert, succumbed after the battle of Marston 
Moor; and castles such as Helmsley, Skipton, Tickhill, 
and Knaresborough yielded to their besiegers soon after. 
As a rule, such strongholds were destroyed after their 
capture ; even the less purely military castles, like Cawood 
and Wressel, perished in this way. Knaresborough was 
not destroyed till 1648. Pontefract, as we have seen, and 
Scarborough survived to receive fresh garrisons of Royalists, 
and to surrender once again to the armies of the Parliament. 
The work of rebuilding the destroyed castles was a useless 
task ; the day was past when a licence to crenellate was 

1 The work of Sir William Fairfax (d. 1597). It was completed in 1585 
(Bilson, u.s., p. 145). Subsequent additions were made in the early part of 
the eighteenth century. 

2 Ralph Hastyngs had a licence (18 Edw. III.) to crenellate his "man- 
sum " of Slyngesby (ibid., iii. 414). 


a substantial privilege to the private gentleman. The 
castle buildings now became purely objects of sentiment 
and historical interest, save in cases where they were 
made, most inhumanly, into prisons. In Yorkshire, as 
elsewhere in England, little care was taken to preserve 
what remained from picturesque ruin. In an age of re- 
vived enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, their fragments 
were often looked on with veneration as of untold an- 
tiquity; legends sprang up about terrible dungeons and 
underground passages from ruin to ruin, a perfect system 
of sub-ways, linking castle with castle and (most grateful 
to the scandal-loving mind) with abbey; and earthworks, 
such as those at Barwick-in-Elmet l or Laughton-en-le- 
Morthen, which had survived the decay of timber or stone 
superstructures, were credited with almost prehistoric age. 
Such traditions are still only too common ; but we are 
working away from them by degrees ; and our growing 
knowledge of the origin and development of the castle 
and its plan, if it allows less room to the allurements of 
imagination, invests these remains with a new interest, 
guiding us from the province of vague and unintelligent 
rumour to a clearer perception of historical facts, and of 
the bearing of the history of structural art on that of 
political and social progress. 


THE old views of the castles ot Pontefract and Tickhill, here reproduced, 
are taken from originals preserved among the Duchy of Lancaster records 
in the Public Record Office (Duchy of Lancaster, Maps and Plans, Nos. 
113, 115). Mr. Richard Holmes reproduced two engravings, made in the 
eighteenth century from the view of Pontefiacl Castle, in his volume on 
The Sieges of Pontefract Castle ; but the actual view had not then been 
identified among the public records. The more trustworthy of these engrav- 
ings, published by the Society of Antiquaries in 1735 (Vetusta Monumenta, 

1 See note 2 on page 242. 


No. 34), was also reproduced with explanatory notes by Mr. Holmes in 
the Yorkshire Weekly Post of I3th July 1889. The date at which the 
views were drawn is uncertain, and Mr. Holmes was disposed to attribute 
that of Pontefract to the early part of the fourteenth century. The present 
writer is inclined to think that they were made more probably towards the 
middle of the sixteenth century. The survey which is pinned on to the 
view of Pontefract, as also a survey pinned to a corresponding view of Knares- 
borough Castle, is clearly, from internal evidence, of that date. To the view 
of Pontefract is also pinned a drawing of the Swillington Tower of that castle ; 
the identification below is written in a hand of the seventeenth or eighteenth 
century, while the identification " pontfract " on the general view appears 
to be earlier. " Tykehill," written prominently on the parapet of the 
donjon in the Tickhill view, is an identification probably contemporary 
with the view. In the general view of Pontefract, Swillington Tower is 
seen in the background, to the left of the Queen's Tower, which is the 
tower projecting into the north-eastern portion of the castle enclosure, 
with a round-headed doorway on the ground-floor. That the draughtsman, 
in both cases, was roughly faithful to the general details of the collection 
of buildings with which he was dealing is not to be doubted ; but it is 
also probable that he here and there allowed a certain amount of imagina- 
tion to enter into his elevations. In treating the surroundings of the castles, 
he also has allowed himself some topographical freedom. These were treated 
even more freely in the Vetusta Monumenta engraving of Pontefract, so that 
Mr. Holmes, trusting to the general accuracy of that engraving, identified 
the church on the right with St. Helen's chapel, and that on the left as 
possibly representing St. Michael's at Foulsnape. From the details of the 
original view, it is clear that the draughtsman intended the church on the 
right to represent All Saints', with its octagonal lantern on the rectangular 
lower stage of its central tower, and that on the left to represent the 
church of St. Giles in the upper town, without strict regard to their actual 
positions with respect to the castle. The building on the hill beyond All 
Saints' seems intended to represent the church raised on the spot popularly 
hallowed by the execution of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. The ruinous 
character of this building (indistinguishable in the engraving of I735) 
points to the date for the view suggested by the present writer ; while the 
introduction of the tower of All Saints', apart from other architectural 
features implied by portions of the drawing, appears to make a fourteenth- 
century date untenable. The drawing of Tickhill Church, at the back of 
the outer earthwork of the castle, is of the roughest type ; but the tall 
pinnacles of fifteenth - century work on each side of the east window 
clearly struck the draughtsman's fancy. The importance given to the 
square chimneys of the small town houses in both views (entirely neglected 
by the Pontefract engraver of 1735), may also be noted as a characteristic 
more likely to appeal to a sixteenth-century than to a fourteenth -century artist. 
In spite of the roughness of some of the details of the views, that of Tickhill 
may be taken as a faithful representation of the walled castle enclosure, 
with its almost central mound and keep, its chapel, domestic buildings, and 


offices within the encircling wall, and its moat, bridge, and mill, of which 
the Civil Wars have left to us little more than the earthworks and gate- 
house ; while the view of Pontefract gives us some idea of the magnifi- 
cence of the castle which played so important a part in the history of the 
fourteenth century, which became the headquarters of the Pilgrimage of 
Grace in Yorkshire, and lost little of its strength and architectural splen- 
dour before its dismantling in the seventeenth century. 


NESTLING at the foot of the Wolds, some eight 
miles to the north of its comparatively modern 
neighbour, Kingston-upon-Hull, lies the ancient 
capital of the East Riding of Yorkshire. Picturesque 
enough it looks as you approach it by the York road, 
with the park-like expanse of Westwood in the foreground 
and the two great churches towering high above the red- 
tiled roofs below. Scarcely less beautiful is the entrance 
into Beverley by the New Walk, with its noble trees and 
quaint old Sessions House ; soon, passing under the North 
Bar (an embattled gateway of the early fifteenth century), 
a street vista which few towns can rival is presented to 
the view. On the left, the graceful turrets and open-work 
battlements of St. Mary's Church are seen through the 
trees; in the middle distance rises the eighteenth-century 
Market Cross, which doubtless replaced a much finer Gothic 
structure ; and, finally, the prospect is closed by the lofty 
fretted towers of the Minster. Other notable buildings are, 
the Guildhall, or (as it was anciently termed) the Hans 
House, the new East Riding County Hall, the Corn 
Exchange, the remains of the Dominican Friary, and the 
new Free Library, for which the borough is indebted to the 
munificence of a former townsman. 

The history of Beverley is, to a great extent, the history 
of its Minster. Enshrining the memory of a great person- 
ality, " the most venerated of all the northern saints except 
St. Cuthbert," pilgrims from all parts of England came to 

pay their devotions at the tomb of St. John of Beverley. 



His standard was borne before the army on many a battle- 
field ; and kings and queens, from the days of Athelstan 
onward to those of Henry VI., would come to Beverley to 
implore the intercession of the saint before the commence- 
ment of a campaign, or to give thanks for victory at its 

As a consequence, Beverley increased rapidly in size 
and importance until it became one of the principal towns 
of England, a position it occupied till the fifteenth century. 
In 1377, according to the Poll-Tax returns, Beverley stood 
eleventh in point of population, although even then it had 
begun to decay. Its population at the present time is about 

The date of the original foundation of Beverley Minster 
is lost in the obscurity of remote antiquity. Simon Russell, 
clerk to the Provost of Beverley, who, in 1410, compiled 
the celebrated Provost's Book (lately restored to the Minster, 
and preserved among its treasures), declares that " Beverley 
Minster was built in the days of Lucius, son of Coil, King 
of Britain, in the year of Our Lord, 157." For Simon 
Russell was a man who scorned to " spoil his ship for a 
ha'porth of tar." But I see no reason for doubting the 
assertion of the Venerable Bede (who was ordained deacon 
and priest by St. John of Beverley, and wrote his bio- 
graphy), that the church on this spot was rebuilt by that 
saint, the fourth Archbishop of York of the Saxon line, 
who first visited Beverley about A.D. 690. Mr. A. F. Leach, 
to whose learning and research we are so deeply indebted 
for a flood of light upon the early annals of Beverley, 
disputes this, however, and devotes much pains and in- 
genuity to the attempt to prove that King Athelstan 
was the real founder of the Minster, and that there is no 
reason for identifying Bede's " Inderawuda " (In the wood 
of Deira) with Beverley (the " Beaver Meadow "). Surely 
the most likely explanation of the two names is that, first 
of all, the Church of St. John was built on a hill "In 
Deira Wood " ; for recent excavations have shown that 



the approach through Highgate has been raised many 
feet, although there is still a flight of steps to the west 
door. Then a town sprang up in the " Beaver Meadow " 
below, and the Church of St. Nicholas was built there. In 
the northern edition of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle it is re- 
corded: "A.D. 721. . . . This year died the holy Bishop 
John. . . . His body rests in Beverley (Beoforlic)." 

The real difficulty to be encountered in doubting the 
identity of Beverley Minster with Bede's church " In 
Deira Wood" is this. St. John of Beverley died in 721. 
Athelstan was crowned in 925. Is it possible that, in 
200 years, the great archbishop and the abbey which he 
founded, and in which he was buried, should have become 
so utterly forgotten that no one knew where the abbey 
was ? In this, as well as in certain higher matters, the 
difficulties of unbelief are surely greater than the diffi- 
culties of faith ! 

In many an ancient chronicle we read of the learning, 
the holiness, the missionary labours, the miracles of the 
sainted archbishop, whose dust still lies in the Minster's 
eastern nave, marked by no other monument than the 
Gothic inscription in the vault above : " Beverlacesis 
Beati JohanTs subtus in theca ponuntur ossa." * St. John 
of Beverley is said to have been born of a noble Saxon 
family at Harpham-on-the- Wolds, some eighteen miles 
from Beverley, about A.D. 640. His parents had doubt- 
less embraced the faith of Christ, for they sent the boy 
to the far-famed school of Canterbury, presided over by 
Hadrian, the friend and fellow-labourer of Archbishop 
Theodore, who was a native (like that earlier and greatest 
missionary, St. Paul) of Tarsus in Cilicia. Hadrian the 
African, the fellow-countryman of Tertullian and Cyprian 
and St. Augustine of Hippo, has been described as the 

1 " In a coffer beneath are laid the bones of the Blessed John of 
Beverley." Round the western boss of the nave vault was discovered, in 
1867, another inscription, which has also been restored : " Beverlacensis 
Johannes Sanctus Nobilisimae hujus Ecclesiae Fundator ("St. John of 
Beverley, Founder of this most noble Church "). 


parent of sanctified learning in the English Church. 
" He regarded all knowledge as God's gift to man, and 
strove to open the doors of all its chambers to his scholars. 
Not only the Sacred Scriptures and theology, but arith- 
metic, astronomy, music, and even medicine, were pre- 
sented to the lads who flowed to Canterbury from all 
parts of England, as worthy subjects of intellectual labour. 
Bede, with his multifarious learning, so wide, and, for the 
time, so accurate, shows at their best the results of this 
wise, sympathetic teaching, derived, through his master, 
John, from these two great leaders of the Church in our 
land." l From Canterbury the future archbishop passed to 
the famous Monastery of Whitby, to be trained by the 
great Abbess Hilda, truly a " Mother in Israel." No 
fewer than five of her scholars, Bede informs us, of whom 
John was the most celebrated, but " all of them persons 
of signal worth and holiness," became bishops of various 
sees. On Sunday, August 25, 687, John was consecrated 
Bishop of Hexham. In 706 he was translated to York. 
Of the details of his episcopate Bede tells us little. He 
travelled through his diocese, preaching from his open 
Bible (parts of which he translated), rich in goodness, full 
of kindness and sympathy for the band of disciples by 
whom he was surrounded, and whom he was training for 
evangelistic work. Of these, Bede became the most 
famous ; while Berctun (or Brithunus) and Winwald z 

1 See an interesting paper by the late Canon Venables, " St. John of 
Beverley, his Miracles, and his Minster." 

2 Gent and other writers (as Poulson, Beverlac, p. 31) speak of St. 
Brithunus and Si. Winwald. I am unable to find any evidence of their 
canonisation, except that there is an interesting entry in the Chapter Act 
Book, dated November 28, 1306, giving the copy of a document which had 
been discovered in the shrine of St. Berchthun (Sancti Berethuni), stating 
that the relics had been wrapped in linen, with herbs fragrant of the sweetest 
odour, by Odo, priest, and Alfgar, deacon. Canon William of Haxby rebuilt 
the shrine at his own expense. There was a chapel under the invocation of 
St. "Winworth" (who was probably the same person as St. Winwald), 
somewhere in Cleveland, and presumably in the parish of Skelton. It was 
desecrated at the Reformation, and was granted, with other like spoil (Pat. 
Roll., 28 Eliz., Part xiv., No. 3) to John Awbrey and John Ratclife, gentle- 
men, of London (see Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. xx. p. 352). 


became the first two Abbots of Beverley, and Herebald, 
Abbot of Tynemouth. We are told minutely of the 
manner in which St. John taught a dumb youth to speak, 
from which circumstance, the " Guild of St. John of 
Beverley," for the benefit of the deaf and dumb, has 
chosen him for its patron, and has presented his statue, 
and a beautiful memorial window, to the Minster where 
he rests. Here, in A.D. 718, when, worn out by age, he 
resigned his bishopric, the saint retired to end his days, 
watched over by the faithful Brithunus, and dying on 
May 7, 721, was buried in St. Peter's Chapel. 1 In 1037, 
he received canonisation from Benedict IX., and Arch- 
bishop Aelfric " translated " his remains from the carved 
feretory of wood in which they had rested to a more 
sumptuous shrine, sparkling with gold and precious stones. 
This probably came to grief in the great fire of 1188, 
five years after which search was made for his bones, 
and they were discovered. Another magnificent feretory 
of silver gilt, adorned with tabernacle work, niches, and 
small images, was procured by the provost and canons 
early in the thirteenth century, and Mr. Leach has dis- 
covered the original contract between the Chapter of 
Beverley and Roger of Faringdon, goldsmith. It is 
dated September 14, 1292, and the surety was Roger's 
employer (and probably father or uncle, notwithstanding 
the variation in the spelling), William Farendon, gold- 
smith, citizen of London. He was the alderman who 
gave his name to the city ward of Farringdon. 

It seems to have been completed for the dedication of 
the high altar on June 21, 1308. Like the shrine of St. 
Alban in that abbey, it probably rested in the chapel 
behind the high altar, and during the Rogation days it 
was carried in procession through the town to the daughter 
churches, when all the Trades Guilds built wooden castles 
in the streets, and having seen it pass sitting in their best 

1 The word " porticus " in the Chronicle probably means the canopy or 
baldacchino of the altar. 


liveries in the morning, on its return in the afternoon joined 
in the procession, and rode after it. 1 

The relics were probably hidden at the dissolution, but 
in 1604, on digging a grave, they were found in a case of 
lead ; and again brought to light on the repaving of the 
nave in 1736. 

With the remains was found a small dagger, probably 
the pledge left by Athelstan on the altar when he visited 
the Minster in 933 to invoke the assistance of St. John, 
before the battle of Brunanburgh. After this victory, which 
made Athelstan practically the first King of England, he 
endowed the Minster with wide lands, and altered the 
foundation to a college of secular canons. The event is 
commemorated by an old painting in the south transept, 
representing the king in the act of giving to Beverley 
Minster (personified by St. John) its first charter, on which 
are the words in old English characters : 

" Als fre make I the 
As hert may thenk 
Or eyhe may se." 

William the Conqueror turned aside from the lands of 
the Minster when he devastated the wolds and valleys of 
Yorkshire, and broke up his camp and removed it far 
away lest he should disturb "the peace of St. John." 
Edward I. more than once laid his offerings on the tomb 
of St. John, and carried his banner with him on his Scottish 
campaign. Henry IV. worshipped here, and confirmed the 
charters of Beverley, and the sanctuary of its " frith-stool." 
Here came Henry V. with his young French queen, to 
return thanks at the saint's shrine after the great victory 
of Agincourt, won on October 25th, which was not only 
the feast of St. Crispin, but that of the Translation of St. 
John ; and Archbishop Chichele decreed that the day of his 
death, May 7th, should be solemnly observed all over England. 

1 Beverley Chapter Act Book, edited for the Surtees Society by Mr. A. F. 
Leach, vol. ii. xxxi. 


Many and diverse are the miracles related by St. John's 
biographers to have been wrought by the saint both before 
and after his death. The blind, the lame, the diseased are 
cured ; Scotland and Ireland, as well as England, send 
their afflicted, and they find relief; a youth who had 
climbed to the upper parts of the church to see the miracle- 
play of the Resurrection acted in the churchyard falls and 
is killed, but the saint restores him to life, so that, as the 
chronicler quaintly adds, " there is a resurrection inside 
the church as well as out " ; a love-lorn pedagogue is cured 
of his passion ; sailors pray to St. John at sea, and the 
storm subsides ; he gives rain in drought, and is hailed 
as a new Elijah ; the bells are rung as for the midnight 
mass, but by no mortal hand, and a festal procession of 
many clergy, priests, and bishops sweeps round the church 
thrice, and there enters a queen wearing a crown : " Who 
could this queen be," the narrator asks, " but the Blessed 
Virgin, the Mother of God, who is truly called the Queen 
of Heaven ? " And so the fame and the sanctity of the 
Minster of St. John were noised abroad, and its coffers 
were replenished, and pilgrims came thither, as Chaucer 
tells, from far and near. 

There is an interpolation in the Life of St. John of 
Beverley in the Acta Sanctorum, in which a similar legend 
is related of him to the well-known one concerning St. 
Gregory the Great. " Among the disciples of Archbishop 
Theodore," writes the chronicler, " he received one of great 
sanctity, named John, whom we have seen was afterwards 
ordained archbishop of the metropolitical Church of St. 
Peter at York, whom the Lord Jesus Christ so greatly 
loved that He sent to him the Holy Spirit in the form 
of a dove, while he was celebrating the divine rites." 
Folcard, a monk of St. Bertin, in Flanders, who came to 
Canterbury in the time of Edward the Confessor, and 
became Abbot of Thorney, says that this happened in the 
Church of St. Michael the Archangel in York (doubtless 
St. Michael-le-Belfrey), while he was engaged in lonely 


vigil and prayer in behalf of his work. The glory of the 
Holy Spirit, flashing with bright splendour, appeared in 
the form of a white dove hovering over his head as he 
prayed. The light shone forth from the basilica as if the 
sun had left the heavens and shut up his glory within its 
narrow bounds. All who beheld it were amazed. The 
archbishop's deacon, Sigga, entered the church, and beheld 
the wondrous sight : the holy pontiff with uplifted hands 
and eyes raised to heaven, pouring forth his soul like 
water before God, while upon his head there rested a 
dove, whiter than snow. The deacon's face became, as 
it were, scorched and wrinkled up by the light ; the saint 
healed him with a touch, and bade him never to disclose 
what he had seen to any mortal, as long as he himself lived. 
There is little to be said about the history of the town 
of Beverley apart from its ecclesiastical associations. In 
1130 Archbishop Thurstan granted to the town the privi- 
lege of a Hans House and a Merchant Guild. According 
to Gross's list there were only five towns in England which 
obtained this privilege earlier. Thurstan's charter contained 
the elements of the municipal constitution of the borough. 
Twelve men of the Guild were chosen yearly to represent 
their fellow-burgesses, and called the " Twelve Governors " 
or " Keepers " of the town of Beverley. Merchant Guilds 
were founded originally for the regulation and protection 
of trade, but in process of time the government of the 
towns in which they existed became their chief function. 
Two orders of the Keepers, dated 1306, are preserved in 
the Town Records. Beverley returned two burgesses to 
the Parliaments of Edward I. When King Henry VI. 
visited Beverley in 1447, the twelve Governors and a large 
number of burgesses rode out to meet him, and the terse 
speech of the principal Governor (Mayor as he would after- 
wards have been called), Roger Rolleston, was as follows : 
" Most graciouse cristen Prince, our Soveraynge Lord, 
ye be wollcom til your pepul and town of Beverley." A 
present of 85 was on this occasion given to the king. 


Queen Elizabeth granted to the town a charter of incor- 
poration, at the request of the Earl of Leicester, in 1572. 
It cost the municipality no less a sum than 223, is. iod., 
and ordained that the Mayor and the twelve Governors 
should hold their offices for life, and that the survivors 
should elect their successors. In 1663, by a charter of 
Charles II., thirteen capital burgesses were added to the 
Corporation ; and the last charter, that of James II., granted 
in 1685, altered the title of the twelve Governors to that of 

The town does not appear to have been fortified by 
walls, but by a moat and palisade. At every entrance 
there was an embattled gateway, one of which remains, 
the North Bar, built in 1409. 

In 1708, James Douglas, Duke of Queensberry, was 
created by Queen Anne Duke of Dover, Marquis of 
Beverley, and Baron Ripon. The English titles became 
extinct in 1778, and the Earldom of Beverley is now 
merged in the Dukedom of Northumberland. 

The Archbishops of York were Lords of the Manor of 
Beverley, and frequently resided at the Manor House in 
Beverley Park, afterwards the residence of the Wartons. 
A small portion only of this mansion remains, con- 
verted into a farmhouse, beneath which is the entrance to 
an underground passage, which can be traced outside 
for some distance. Archbishop Alfric Puttoc obtained 
for the people of Beverley, by his influence with Edward 
the Confessor, the privilege of holding three yearly fairs, 
which greatly promoted the prosperity of the town. In 
1380, as it is usually supposed, Archbishop Alexander 
Neville granted to the burgesses the beautiful undulating 
park of Westwood, the largest of the common pastures of 
the town, which contain altogether about 1200 acres. It 
would, however, appear that the grant of Neville was only 
the confirmation of a similar grant from his predecessors. 

King Edward I. visited Beverley, as we have seen, 
three times. In 1299 he remained three days as the 



guest of the canons of the Minster, and the sacred banner 
of St. John was then commanded to be borne before him 
into Scotland. In 1300 he was accompanied by Queen 
Eleanor and his eldest son, afterwards Edward II., who 
visited Beverley several times after he became king. 
Many other royal visits are recorded during the Middle 
Ages, and in the midst of the great civil troubles in 1642, 
Charles I. transferred his Court from York to Beverley, 
residing at the house of Lady Gee, on the west side of 
North Bar Within. After his failure to gain possession 
of Hull, the king returned to Beverley, but was followed 
by the Parliamentary troops, who, making a circuit and 
crossing the dyke near the North Bar, beat down the 
sentinels and gained the centre of the town before the 
Royalists knew of the pursuit. Charles took refuge in 
the Hall Garth, on the south side of the Minster, and 
his troops gave battle to the rebels in the streets, and 
drove them back in haste to Hull. 

Among the famous men of Beverley was St. Aelred, 
or Alured, born in 1109. Educated first in the Minster 
school, and afterwards at Cambridge, he returned to his 
native town, and became sacrist, canon, and treasurer 
of the church. He was subsequently appointed abbot 
of the newly founded Abbey of Rievaulx, whose beautiful 
ruins may still be seen near the little town of Helmsley. 
There he compiled his famous Annals of the English Kings 
from Brutus to Henry I. He has been called the English 
Florus, from the resemblance of his style to that of the 
Roman historian. In 1250 he was enrolled among the 
saints of the Cistercian Order. 

John Fisher, born in Beverley in 1456, became chaplain 
to the Lady Margaret, mother of King Henry VII., and 
was joint founder with her of Christ's and St. John's 
Colleges in Cambridge, and of the Margaret Professor- 
ship of Divinity. In 1504 he was appointed Bishop of 
Rochester. For upholding the papal supremacy, Paul III. 
sent him a cardinal's hat in 1535, but he was beheaded by 



Henry VIII. shortly afterwards. Three centuries later he 
was " Beatified." 

But now we draw near to the venerable Minster of 
St. John, and perhaps, if we happen to be students of 
architecture, we begin to ask ourselves whether, on the 
whole, we have ever seen so beautiful a church. Nor is 
this to be wondered at, since the late eminent archaeologist, 
Canon Venables, writing under the very shadow of his own 
beloved Lincoln, declared Beverley to be the " loveliest of 
English Minsters." " In the opinion of many excellent 
judges," wrote an able critic in the London Guardian 
(September 1884), "Beverley Minster is, taken all round, 
the very finest church the country possesses." Mr. Leach 
begins the introduction to his edition of the Beverley Chapter 
Act Book by saying : " There is no more beautiful building 
in England than Beverley Minster." ..." Beverley, like 
the King's daughter, is all glorious within." x 

If we go on to analyse this beauty into its component 
elements, the first feature which strikes us will probably 
be the admirable proportion of the structure ; of height to 
width, of pillar to arch, of triforium to clerestory. You 
never find yourself saying, " This is too low, and wanting 
in sublimity ; this is too high and suggestive of weakness 
and attenuation ; this is too short and we yearn for a 
far- stretching vista." Similarly, the ground-plan, which 
is practically that of the Norman church (with the excep- 
tion of the Lady Chapel, the eastern transept, and the 
western aisle of the great transept), forms the most per- 
fect double cross of any known church. We shall next 
observe that in the restoration and Gothicising of the 
Norman church (which was "grievously disfigured" by 

1 The late Sir Gilbert Scott on one occasion, when standing in the choir 
with Mr. Alderman Elwell of Beverley, who was remarking upon its beauty, 
exclaimed enthusiastically, "This is the finest Gothic church in the world !" 
Mr. Francis Bond, in his Gothic Architecture in England (1905) ranks the 
nave of Beverley Minster among the four " most successful vaulted interiors 
we possess" (p. 54); while he describes its choir as "the masterpiece of 
thirteenth-century Gothic " (p. 535). 


a great fire in 1188), a work which went on for about 
200 years, each generation so assimilated its work to that 
of its predecessors, that the general effect is one of com- 
plete harmony coupled with the variety in detail displayed 
by some of the finest examples of all the pointed styles. 
The very " dogtooth " moulding of the thirteenth century 
was not wholly abandoned in the fourteenth, and the arch 
curve of the Perpendicular windows is as graceful as that 
of the lancets. 

We shall then note the immense wealth of rich carving 
and sculpture which meets the eye everywhere. True, in 
the Early English portion, the only foliage is that of the 
simple " Herba Benedicta," the only semblance of the 
human form is the " Cistercian Mask." But on the east 
side of the early fourteenth-century altar-screen, and in the 
arcading under the windows of the aisles of the nave, as 
well as on the buttresses and pinnacles of the exterior (espe- 
cially those on the south side) we have an efflorescence of 
" Decorated " work which it would not be easy to surpass. 
The same may be said of the screens, sedilia, and later 
stalls of the choir, remarkable examples of three periods 
of wood-work ; while, in the crowning glory of the " Percy 
Shrine" (A.D. 1340), we can admire the finest of all Gothic 

Two interior points of view should be especially com- 
mended to the visitor. Standing under the organ-screen, 
and looking west, we have before us the long vista of the 
noble nave, with its eleven lofty arches on either side 
twelve, if we include those of the centre crossing. The 
great west window, with its rich glass, portraying scenes 
connected with the early history of Christianity in Nor- 
thumbria, and the figures of abbots, provosts, canons, 
and other worthies of Beverley, forms a fine termination 
to the prospect. Underneath it is the lofty western 
portal, flanked by eighteen niches containing excellent 
statues of the "Black Letter Saints," by Messrs. Percy 
and Robert Baker and the late Mr. Robert Smith. 


The other view is that which presents itself to one 
standing rather more than half-way up the choir (it should 
be on a sunny morning), and gazing upon the exquisite 
Early English architecture of the eastern crossing, the 
ancient glass of the great east window, the Decorated altar- 
screen and Percy Shrine, with the richly canopied stalls 
to the right and left. 

One of the most venerable relics of the Minster is the 
rude " Frith-stool," or " Chair of Peace," described by Mr. 
Leach as the oldest seat remaining in its original home. 
It no doubt dates from the time of Athelstan, who conferred 
the right of sanctuary. The unique double Early English 
staircase which led to the Chapter House must not be for- 
gotten, nor the noble Norman Transition font of Frosterley 
marble, nor the collection of relics in the oak case in the 
south-east transept, the most valuable of which is the 
Provost's Book, or Register of Simon Russell, already alluded 
to, an important MS. of A.D. 1416, in its original binding. 

All the ancient glass remaining in the Minster was 
collected and arranged in the east window in the eighteenth 
century. There are thus sufficient specimens of all three 
styles to guide the artist when new windows are to- be 
designed ; for (contrary to the present fashion, which, it is 
to be hoped, will soon have run its course) nothing is 
allowed to be inserted in Beverley Minster, whether in 
painted glass, carving, or sculpture, which is not as nearly 
as possible on the lines of the original work. We may 
especially point to the reproduction of thirteenth-century 
glass in the choir by Messrs. Powell, and to that of four- 
teenth-century glass in the memorial window to the officers 
and men of the East Yorkshire Regiment who fell in the 
South African war, and the adjoining window in the south 
aisle of the nave, by Messrs. Hardman. 

The organ retains the best parts of that erected by 
Snetzler in 1767, since which it has been frequently en- 
larged, mainly by Messrs. Hill ; and it is now a very 
complete instrument, notable both for the power of the 


full organ and for the sweetness and variety of the softer 
stops. 1 The fine organ-screen of richly carved oak was 
designed by the late Sir Gilbert Scott on the lines of the 
tabernacle work of the stalls, and most successfully carried 
out by Messrs. Elwell of Beverley. It is pleasant to add 
that its handsome gates of wrought iron were also the work 
of a townsman, Mr. Watson. 

The front of the altar-screen was most carefully restored 
from the remains of the original work (it was dedicated in 
1308) about seventy years ago. It contained a great deal 
of fine carved work in its niches and canopies, but these 
were all empty ; and the first impression it gave was that 
of a white stone wall, hardly worthy of its position in 
the very focus of so much beauty. There seemed to 
be no doubt but that the statuary should be restored, 
and also that gold and colour were needed. But how were 
the latter to be supplied ? The painting and gilding of 
carved stone-work, much less of statuary, never, in our 
judgment, seems really satisfactory, although it was so 
often done in mediaeval times. Its own natural play of light 
and shade has a much more pleasing effect ; the fumes of 
our modern stoves and gas-jets soon exert a ghastly in- 
fluence, and, in the present case, the contrast presented 
by the virgin purity of the Percy Shrine would painfully 
accentuate the garishness of a painted and gilded altar- 
screen. 2 No solution of the problem could satisfy every 
taste, but the one which was adopted has been almost 
universally approved by those competent to judge. The 
twelve niches were filled with statues, executed in Corsham 
stone by Mr. N. Hitch of Vauxhall, under the careful 
superintendence of the late Mr. J. L. Pearson, R.A. The 
thirty-six flat panels were filled with "opus sectile" mosaic 

1 There are 4 manuals, 68 stops, and 3576 pipes. The wind is supplied by 
three hydraulic engines. 

2 In these remarks the writer is simply giving his own opinion, formed 
after long and careful study of the subject generally and of the local con- 
ditions in this particular instance. He is quite aware of the wide differences of 
taste in these matters. 



by Messrs. Powell ; a vermilion and gold diaper copied from 
the original "gesso" illumination of the altar-screen was 
largely used as a background, and also to line the niches, 
in which it serves the double purpose of vividly throwing 
up the statues and also preserving the balance of colouring 
with white stone-work over the whole composition. The 
statuary in the adjoining and almost contemporary Percy 
Shrine was studied for the figures, and the colouring of 
the east window beyond for the mosaics, so that the work 
might " look right " amid its surroundings. The needed 
warmth and glow of gold and colour were thus obtained in 
a worthy and permanent material, proof against carbonic 
vapours, and confined to the flat panels of the reredos. 
The work was completed in 1897, in memory of the late 
Commander H. O. Nolloth, R.N., the father of the present 
vicar. The five windows in the south front of the eastern 
transept are a memorial to the vicar's mother. 

Passing now to the exterior, the main objects which 
impress the eye are the roofs (which all retain their original 
very lofty pitch), the beautiful facades of the east end and 
of the transepts, the imposing north porch (which Rickman 
declared to be the finest specimen of a panelled Perpendi- 
cular porch in the kingdom), the flying buttresses of the 
nave, with their richly carved Decorated niches and 
pinnacles, and, above all, the magnificent western front 
and towers. Every visitor should make a point of going 
a few yards down Minster Moorgate, which is a continua- 
tion of Minster Yard North, for there, close to the entry 
to the Minster stoneyard, is the only spot from which 
the towers can be properly seen. Stand there when the 
moonlight, or the rosy afterglow of a summer evening, or 
the pearly haze of a fine winter afternoon, illumines those 
towers, with their buttresses of massive strength, yet so ex- 
quisitely proportioned in their receding stages as to lead you 
to imagine that they soar to a far greater than their actual 
height, panelled, traceried, and fretted from base to pinnacle 
and adorned with some ninety statues. And, as you gaze, 


you will feel that you have before you the very beau-ideal of 
Gothic art in its blended grace and strength, and romance 
of carving and of sculpture. I know that nothing in the 
world can approach the magnitude and richness of the west 
fronts of Rheims and Amiens ; but in perfection of outline 
and pure Gothic feeling, nothing can excel the west front 
of Beverley. Its setting has lately been greatly improved 
by the closing of the public footpaths through the Minster 
yard, and the lowering iof the high brick wall which encom- 
passed it, so that the grey buttresses are now seen rising 
from a fair greensward, well planted with evergreens, rose- 
trees, and flowering shrubs, dotted here and there with 
limes and silver birches. 1 

The restoration of the sculpture in the west front and 
north porch was undertaken as a memorial of the sixtieth 
year of the reign of Queen Victoria. Only one ancient 
figure remained, that of Henry Percy, on the north face 
of the north tower, and there was a hard and unsatisfying 
look in the scores of richly canopied but empty niches. 
The project was well taken up, and besides the donations 
of residents, statues were given by the Archbishop of York, 
the Archdeacon of the East Riding, the Guild of St. John 
of Beverley, the Historical Society of Beverley (Massa- 
chusetts), &c. ; while, among local donors, may be men- 
tioned the Freemasons of Beverley, the women of Beverley, 
and the vicar's Men's Bible Class. The committee were 

1 The tympanum, or lofty embattled chamber over the great west window, 
has sometimes been absurdly reviled on the ground that it is a sort of false 
front to the nave roof. It would be just as reasonable to object to the lateral 
towers that they form false fronts to the side aisles. The fact is that here, as 
at Strasburg, Notre-Dame, and other continental churches, the whole west 
front, or western bay of the nave, is one great tower right across. At Stras- 
burg some heavy bells are hung in the tympanum or central portion ; and a 
few years since we had some idea of doing the same thing at Beverley. Apart 
from this, the effect would have been most inharmonious, if the Perpendicular 
builders had allowed the steep-pitched roof of the earlier nave to appear 
between the towers. The low gable of the central portion of this threefold 
western tower, with its battlement and pinnacles, is the best possible upper 
termination which could have been devised for it, and far more satisfactory 
than the flat horizontal finish of the corresponding portion of the west fronts 
of Strasburg and Notre-Dame. 


fortunate enough to secure the services of Mr. Robert 
Smith, a sculptor of great experience under several of our 
most eminent architects ; and in the opinion of good judges, 
the figures have the impress of true Gothic feeling, and 
will compare favourably with any similar work. Some 
critics have been severe upon certain figures in the lowest 
tier, without taking into account the peculiar difficulty 
which had to be met viz., that the lowest niches were not 
only wider and deeper, but unfortunately much shorter 
than the upper tiers. In the figures near the base of the 
north tower (west face), however, the difficulty has been 
cleverly surmounted. Kings and queens who have had to 
do with Beverley and the Church in Northumbria fill the 
uppermost row of niches, about 100 feet from the ground, 
and the statues are about 6 feet 6 inches high. In the 
next row appear bishops and archbishops ; then abbots 
and abbesses, warriors and saints, &c. In the centre of 
the battlement of the north porch is a large niche, in 
which has been placed, what it was evidently designed 
for, a seated figure of our Lord, with crown, orb, and 
sceptre ; above, in the spire or pinnacle, are two niches, 
containing, in the lower one, St. John the Baptist, and 
in the small upper one, a heavenly herald, an angel bearing 
a trumpet. On either side of our Lord are His twelve 
apostles, St. Paul being substituted for St. John the Divine, 
who appears among the four large statues on either side of 
the portal below, the patron saints of the four parishes of 
Beverley, the others being St. Martin of Tours, St. Nicholas 
of Myra, and St. Mary the Virgin. 

Over the west portal is a niche with an exceedingly 
beautiful canopy and gable, flanked by pinnacles, soaring 
up in front of the great west window. In this niche 
stands the patron saint. The other thirty niches round 
the west portal are now in course of being filled. The 
uppermost row of twelve are to display the twelve 
patriarchs, while prophets, priests, and types of our Lord, 
below, are to unite in conveying the idea of the Old 


Testament as introductory to the New, the Law preparing 
the way for the Gospel, the Jewish Temple as the portal 
of the Christian Church after the manner of the "Bible 
of Amiens." 

There are 108 statues on the exterior of the Minster, 
3 of which are ancient ; and 74 in the interior, of which 
30 are ancient: total, 182. 

If the clock happens to chime, or if the bells are ringing 
while the visitor stands below, he can hardly fail to be 
struck by their full, deep, musical tones, and it may 
interest him to know that the ring of ten in the north 
tower, and the " Bourdon," " Great John," in the south 
tower, are the heaviest set of bells that have been made, 
since, about fourteen years ago, Messrs. Taylor of Lough- 
borough, with the aid of the late Canon Simpson, redis- 
covered and elaborated the lost art of the great Belgian 
founders of three centuries ago, by which each bell is made 
to give out a true chord, its three octaves, minor third and 
fifth all being in tune with each other. In the north tower 
may also be seen the two ancient bells, " Peter " (now 
used as the prayer-bell), and "Brithunus," cast by 
Johannes de Stafford about the year 1350; and the in- 
scription-rings of two other bells in the former peal. The 
clock is a very powerful one, by Messrs. Smith of Derby, 
and is, we believe, the only clock in the world which strikes 
upon bells in two towers ; the going train and the chiming 
train (by which the quarters are announced in varying 
strains upon the peal of ten bells) are in the north tower, 
while the striking train is in the south tower, underneath 
the great bell, on which it strikes the hour. This bell is in 
exact tune with the peal, and is the largest and deepest-toned 
hour-bell in any church or cathedral in the country. 1 

1 The campanologist may like to know that the peal is in C, the tenor 
weighing 2 tons i cwt. " Great John " gives the deep G, the octave below 
the sixth bell in the peal, and weighs ^ tons 3 qrs. I Ib. Its diameter is 
7 ft. 2f ins. ; thickness at the sound-bow, 6 ins. It is so hung that it can be 
rung for the last five minutes, on the ceasing of the peal before the Sunday 
services, without causing the slightest vibration in the tower. These bells are 
considered by experts to be the finest in the country. 



On the south side of the south tower may be seen the 
remains of St. Martin's parish church, and of the charnel- 
house below, in which there was an altar of Corpus Christi. 
From this point there is a good view of the exquisite 
Decorated flying buttresses before alluded to, with their 
beautiful niches and crocketted pinnacles. These have 
been lately restored by Mr. John Baker, a stone-carver of 
remarkable skill and the right mediaeval perception. On 
the south tower is a venerable sundial, with the legend 
" Now or When ? " It is said that the late Canon Jackson 
of Leeds, when a careless youth, once lay resting on the 
grass in the Minster churchyard on a summer day, when 
his eye caught the inscription on the old dial, and he was 
led into a train of thought which changed the whole current 
of his life, and he became one of the most useful and revered 
clergy in the north of England. 

Among the poems in the late Canon Wilton's Lyra 
Pastoralis is the following: 

(Being the Legend of a Sundial on Beverley Minster.) 

" On the tall buttress of a Minster grey, 

The glorious work of long-forgotten men, 
I read this Dial-legend " Now or When ?" 

Well had these builders used their little day 

Of service witness this sublime display 

Of blossomed stone, dazzling the gazer's ken. 
These towers attest they knew 'twas there and then, 

Not some vague morrow they must work and pray. 

Oh, let us seize this transitory NOW 

From which to build a life-work that will last : 

In humble prayer and worship let us bow 
Ere fleeting opportunity is past. 

When once Life's sun forsakes the Dial-plate, 

For work and for repentance 'tis too late ! " 

In 1547, when the College of St. John was dissolved, 
its members consisted of 


I Provost. 

9 Canons or Prebendaries, including the Archbishop as Prebendary of 
St. Leonard's altar. 

3 Officers : the Precentor, the Sacrist, and the Chancellor. 

7 Parsons or Rectors. 

9 Vicars-Choral of the 9 Canons. 
15 Chantry Priests. 
I Master of the Works. 

1 Chamberlain. 

17 Clerks of the Second Form. 

4 Sacristans or Sextons. 

2 Incense Bearers. 

8 Choristers. 


More than one of these offices, however, was held by the 
same person, so that the actual number was probably about 
that of the stalls in the choir 68. These stalls, by the 
way, all preserve their misericords, forming the largest set in 
the country, Lincoln Minster ranking next with 64. They 
contain many carvings of great interest. 

The Provost ruled over the temporal possessions of 
the church, exercised the patronage of the livings, and 
appointed the seven rectors and other officers of the Minster. 
In his court he judged both ecclesiastical and civil offences, 
and had the power of inflicting capital punishment. The 
nine prebendaries were not called after the places whence 
their prebends were derived, but after the altars which they 
served, and each of them had a parish, served as usual 
by their vicars. 

And now we leave the quiet precinct, deemed of yore 
so holy that the fiercest bulls approaching it were said 
forthwith to become mild and tractable. The deep echoes 
of the Minster bells die away upon the ear, and the 
quaint, red-tiled roofs of old Beverley grow dim upon the 
horizon. But still, now and again, we turn from afar to 
look upon the grey, fretted towers which long dominate 
the plain ; and we muse upon the simple times when their 
very sight, joined with ardent prayer, was held to bring 
healing to the sick. And then our thoughts revert to the 


busy, toiling present, when men run to and fro and know- 
ledge is increased but not always wisdom ; and we feel 
how there still remains, insistent as ever, the old, deep need 
of the calm and stay of the Great Presence brooding over 
all the Presence symbolised by that ancient Temple of 
Him who said, near two thousand years ago, " Come unto 
Me, all ye who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give 
you rest ! " 

BY Miss M. W. E. FOWLER 

A CHANCE visitor to Yorkshire might imagine that 
such a wide-awake, business-like people, so alive 
to every opportunity, and so knowing in their 
various transactions, had forgotten the old superstitions 
of their country, and grown beyond a belief in the 
witches and ghosts who once terrified their ancestors. 
This is not the case. Inborn, deep-seated, underlying all 
outward appearances, many old traditions and beliefs 
remain, while ancient divinations are practised. The fol- 
lowing folk-lore was collected some years ago, mainly in 
the manufacturing districts and colliery villages of the 
West Riding. 


Throughout the county, the uneducated classes appear 
proud of a bad or unusual illness, no detail being too 
horrible, no impossibility too impossible. Their credulity 
will go to any length, one woman near Dewsbury being 
convinced that a relation had had his blind eye removed 
in hospital, and that of a buck rabbit substituted, with the 
most satisfactory results. 

Indigestion. Internal pains are frequently said to be 
caused by some animal which u hez gotten hinside of a 
man." In many cases it is known how this unfortunate 
state of things came about, and the unwelcome presence 
can be readily accounted for by the patient and his friends. 
A lad, when drinking from a pond, swallowed an " askard " 

(newt). The boy saw "its great eyes "just as it went in 



at his mouth, but before he could raise his head, the newt 
had slipped down his throat. For years afterwards he was 
troubled with symptoms resembling those of acute dyspepsia, 
till at last an old woman told him of a cure. He was to sit 
with his mouth wide open in front of a basin of hot bread 
and milk, the smell of which would tempt the askard out 
of his " in'ards." The cure was tried, and proved most 
successful. The askard simply rushed up his throat into 
the basin, after which the youth ceased to be troubled and 
lost all his former pains and discomfort. Another man 
had " an askard or summat arkard " inside him, which 
was tempted out by hot beefsteak. At once it began to 
run round the table. Unfortunately the many onlookers 
tried to catch it, whereon it jumped down the man's throat 
again. A woman gave the following story to account for 
her attacks of spasms : " It be a fummard (weasel) as 
troubles me. It got into me when I were a gal, and t'way 
it gnaws at me hinside is hawful. There be nowt as 'ill 
kill it, an' its growed so sin' it went darn 'at no amount 
o' nothink can bring it up now ! " She also believed her 
father's deafness was caused by an animal in his head, 
and used to tell of how, "one fall," he was lying asleep 
by the pond, during which time an askard must have crept 
in at his ear. "'E's been deaf ivver sin', and will be till 
'e can get shut on it." 

Cripples, and people suffering from what is known as 
" spine i' the back," are victims of worms, which have 
crawled into them when they were babies. These worms, 
which cannot be expelled, gradually devour the backbone. 

Consumption results from these same worms settling 
in the lungs. There are, however, good worms, which all 
healthy people contain in their stomachs, and without 
which they could digest nothing. 

Colic. Cinder tea is the best cure for this. Pour some 
boiling water over a piece of red-hot cinder and drink as 
soon as made. 

Infantile Illness. If an unchristened child be ill, there 


is nothing will cure it more quickly than baptism. A lady's 
baby was suddenly taken ill one evening when its mother 
was from home. The nurse at once made some cinder 
tea. With this she baptized the child, making it drink 
the remainder, and so resorting to a double cure. On 
the mother's return, she reported the illness, adding : 
" But I kersened him myself, an' he peeked up at once, 
bless him ! " 

Infant's Fretfulness. If a newborn baby is unnaturally 
fretful, it is a sign the child needs something its mother 
longed for before its birth. Under this impression, chopped- 
up fried pig's liver was forced down the throat of a month- 
old child. The results were most direful. 

Asthma, or " Risin' of the Lights? This is caused by the 
lights (lungs) rising into the throat, and so stopping up the 
windpipe. The cure is to swallow leaden bullets, the weight 
of which will keep down the lungs. " Our John's at hoam 
wi' risin' o' the lights. 'E's swallowed a sight o' bullets, 
but fund nowt to keep 'em darn." 

Warts should be rubbed with milk from the stalks of 
"wartwort" (Euphorbia helioscopia), or, better still, with 
" fastin' spittle." " Fastin' spittle " is saliva used before 
breakfast. Another remedy is to steal a piece of lean meat, 
before noon, rub the wart with it, then bury it in the 
nearest garden. As the flesh rots, the wart withers away ; 
but this cure is useless unless done in secret. Warts are 
caused by having the hands too much in potato water. 

Weakness. It is very generally believed that clean linen 
is a weakening thing, the idea being that it draws the dirt 
out of the skin in much the same way and with much the 
same effect as a leech draws blood. (Dr. F. to Mrs. B.) 
" Now that you are so much better, Mrs. B., it would not 
hurt you to change your linen ; you would find it very 
refreshing and comfortable." (Mrs B.) " But, doctor ! 
wouldn't such a weak'ning thing be very bad for me just 
now ? " 

Hooping Cough. Tie a string to the hind leg of a little 


frog, and let the child suck it, taking the greatest care the 
frog does not slip down the throat ; or, tie a dried toad up 
in a bag, and hang it round the child's neck, so as to be 
next the skin. 

Sayings. The first finger contains poison, therefore no 
ointment should be put on with it. For such purposes, the 
third finger is the best to use, as it is harmless, and in addi- 
tion a lucky finger. 

The birds especially Dicky Dunkin, the hedge-sparrow 
will pick your eyes out if you gather " bod-eye " ( Veronica 
chamcedrys), for this is their flower, and it makes them 
angry to see it touched. 


Birth and Infancy. It is an unfortunate thing for a 
lioness to die in the British Isles. When this happens, 
many women will die in their confinements during the 
same year. If, on the other hand, a lioness have cubs 
the majority of which are "shes," then the majority of 
babies born that year will be girls. Shortly before the 
birth of a child, the mother should make a "spice-loaf," 
otherwise the baby may not thrive. Slices of this cake 
are given to visitors after the child is born. During her 
confinement the woman should have a piece of red string, 
ribbon, or lawyer's tape tied round her left thigh. Why, 
is a little uncertain, though some say it will shorten her 
illness. Should the child be born with a caul, so much 
the better. It is a most lucky sign, though indicating the 
infant will become a wanderer. The caul should be dried 
and kept, as it will ensure its owner against death by 
drowning. Until after she has been churched, no newly 
made mother should enter a neighbour's house. If she 
be guilty of such injudiciousness, a baby will be born in 
the said house before a year passes. This will come 
true, even if the circumstance be most unlikely. An 
infant should "be taken up before it is taken down." If 



born in a top room, so as to make it impossible to carry 
it higher, then it must be held overhead by some one who 
is standing on a chair or table. A child born with teeth 
will die before it is a year old, so likewise will one who 
cuts the lower incisors first : 

" Quickly toothed, then quickly go, 
Quickly willjyour mother have moo." 

If it lives which is most unlikely it will be different 
from other children. At the first house into which a baby 
is taken, the mistress must give it its blessing. The blessing 
is as follows : 

1. An egg, that it may never want meat. 

2. Salt, (a) to savour that meat ; (b) that it may never need friends. 

3. Bread, that it may never want food. 

4. A match, to light it through the world. 

5. A coin, that it may never want money. 

Infants should cry during the baptismal service, some people 
deliberately making them do so, in order that they "may 
scream the devil out." After the ceremony, the nurse 
must be supplied with " a drop o' summat " with which to 
drink its health. This custom is called "washing the 
baby's head." The real washing of that part of its small 
person should not be attempted before the child is a year 
old, and then with whisky and water for the first time. 
Its nails should never be cut, but be bitten short instead. 
Should a child say "mamma" first, there will soon be 
another; if "dada," there will be no other, or, at any 
rate, none before a long interval. I should here add that 
the first of these superstitions, referring to the lioness, 
though doubtless comparatively modern Yorkshire folk-lore, 
is now prevalent throughout the West Riding. The same 
remark applies to the fourth blessing of an infant, matches 
probably being a late addition, or now taking the place of 
some older gift used before their introduction. 

Courtship and Marriage. When it is known that a 
man and woman are engaged to be married, the men of 


the village take the earliest opportunity of meeting the 
happy pair out together. They then ask the future husband 
to give them " a footing," and receiving a small coin, repair 
to the nearest inn in order to drink the bride's health. This 
custom of " buying their footing " may only be done once, 
and then by the first male friend or friends who meet the 
couple. It is unlucky to marry and not change the sur- 
name, for "To change the name and not the letter, is a 
change for worse and not for better." When the wedding 
day comes, care must be taken that the bride does not see 
the bridegroom before she enters the church. Though 
not of necessity seen, still she must wear something blue, 
and must remember that green is a colour to avoid. It 
is always unlucky to turn back when leaving home, but 
never more so than on the wedding day. If a return is 
inevitable, the misfortune can be minimised by sitting 
down on the first seat seen. The men of the wedding 
party sometimes leave the church early, in order to reach 
the girl's home before her return. This is known as 
"running for the bride-door," and the man who reaches 
it the first must be presented with a flower from the 
bouquet, or some other thing which the bride has had 
with her during the service. In the rougher parts, there 
is a race among the men, it being understood that the 
winner may claim and himself remove the bride's garter 
for a prize. On her return from church she must hide 
her gloves, in order that, after her departure, the brides- 
maids may hunt for them, she who finds them being looked 
upon as the next to marry. The cake should be cut over 
the bride's head, "for luck," after which she must give 
her special friends crumbs " to dream on." These morsels 
are first passed through her wedding ring, care being taken 
that the ring does not come off during the process. It is 
admissible to drop it to the tip of the finger, holding it 
there with the thumb while manipulating the cake with 
the other hand. Each receiver makes her portion into 
a small parcel and hides it away till night. She must 


walk upstairs backwards to bed, place the cake under her 
pillow, tie her garters round the left bedpost, and get 
into bed backwards. All this without speaking. Who- 
ever is dreamt of will be the future husband. On waking 
(if it be after midnight), she must sit up and eat the cake, 
at the same time wishing three wishes, which, if kept secret, 
will come true during the year. In some parts, it used to 
be considered the proper thing to make the bridegroom 
leave the house during the night following the wedding. 
This was tried by stratagem, but was seldom successful. 
A newly married shepherd in the Ilkley neighbourhood 
was awakened by a man throwing gravel against the 
window, in order to warn him of some misfortune threat- 
ening his sheep. The man begged him to go at once 
and do what was necessary for the safety of his flock; 
but the shepherd laughingly returned to bed, nor would 
any call or entreaty induce him to again go to the window. 
In the morning he found to his horror the alarm was a 
true one, and that several of his sheep were killed. 

There are many sayings connected with marriage and 
courtship, such as : 

" Courtin' 'ill cease when t' goarse is oot o' flower." 

If a girl sits on the table it is a sign she wants a 

To fall upstairs is the sign of a wedding. 

Death and Burial. A strange pigeon entering a house 
is a sign of death, and in some families one of those birds 
is always said to appear at such times. This idea is by 
no means confined to the West Riding, but is here given, 
as the following story relating to it is too good a local 
example to omit : A lady would not believe the doctor 
when he reported the sinking condition of her husband, 
for no pigeon had as yet come to warn her. She had 
caught one in her room before the death of her father, 
and her sister had been visited by another before the 
sudden and unexpected death of a daughter, and until 
one appeared she should not consider her husband a 


hopeless case. As soon as the doctor called on the fol- 
lowing day, she greeted him with the words, " I can 
believe you now, for a pigeon came into his dressing- 
room early this morning." 

After a funeral, the more heavy the feast, the more 
honour done to the dead. Ham is a great feature on 
these occasions, " to be buried wi' 'am " being very 
correct. The funeral cake is eaten just before the party 
start for the church, the more substantial meal taking 
place on their return. 

A curious custom used to be observed in a colliery 
village near Wakefield. On the morning of the funeral, 
the coffin was placed on chairs outside the house door, 
there to await the coming of the hearse. These chairs 
might not be touched till the funeral party returned. 
When starting for the church, the empty cart or hearse 
headed the procession, then came the carriages, followed 
by the walking mourners, the coffin being carried behind. 
This arrangement was adopted because "all bodies must 
be carried to Grime Lane end " ; the said Grime Lane 
being a road near the entrance of the village, and the 
most direct route. Here they stopped, the coffin was put 
into the hearse, the mourners entered the carriages, 
and so they continued their way to church. The road 
taken was always the same down Grime Lane, across a 
stretch of common land, and then along the Corpse 
Road, the latter perhaps deriving its name from this 

Herbs, especially rosemary, are sometimes thrown into 
the grave; and the position of the furniture in the sick- 
room is more or less altered during the absence of the 
funeral party. The herbs are said to "make the spirit 
rest," and the re-arranging of the room is, I believe, 
to deceive the ghost; for should it return and notice the 
change, it will not so readily recognise its old home, and 
may go away again without troubling the family. 



New Year's Day. It is most unlucky for a fair man, 
or a woman, to let in the New Year. If there be no dark 
man living in the house, a neighbour is requested to come, 
early on the morning of New Year's Day, or as soon as 
twelve has struck on the night of New Year's Eve. In 
the latter case the family sit up to await the coming of 
the first foot. No door or window is opened until he 
knocks. He should bring something new into the house, 
and in return receive drink and Christmas cake. 

Twelfth Night. The boys of some villages dress up, 
call themselves morris dancers, and go about from house to 
house " mumming." Set pieces, I believe, are still acted in 
the neighbourhood of Leeds and elsewhere, but as far as 
I am able to gather this custom is dying out, and already 
in many parts the proper words have been forgotten. In 
some cases the only reminiscence consists in the carrying 
round, by lads, of an old plough or scythe, one of the 
boys being now supposed to personate Father Time. 

Candlemas Day. Some portion of the Christmas cheer 
is kept to finish on Candlemas Day. Christmas decora- 
tions should be removed, but on no account burnt, it being 
considered most unlucky to destroy evergreens by fire 
during the winter. 

Collop Monday or Shuttle Feather Day. The Monday 
before Ash Wednesday takes its first name from the fried 
ham and eggs, known as " collops," which are then eaten 
in the place of other meat. The second name is given 
because the season of battledoor and shuttlecock begins 
on this day. The children play in the streets, taking 
turns, and repeating the answers to the questions given 
below one clause or word to each stroke of the bat : 

(When shall I marry ?) 

" This year, next year, long time, never." 
(Whom shall I marry ?) 
" Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief." 


(In what material shall I be married ?) 

" Silk, satin, cotton, rags." 

(In what shall I drive to church ?) 

" Coach, carriage, wheel-barrow, donkey-cart." 

Pancake Day. Shrove Tuesday is so named on account 
of the pancakes then eaten for dinner. The custom of 
turning or tossing the pancakes is fast dying out, though 
still kept up in some houses. 

Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday the boys begin 
to play marble games, and salt fish is eaten in place of 

Lent is the season to indulge in " Symnell cakes," and 
on "Carling Sunday" (the fifth) dried peas are fried and 
partaken of. On Palm Sunday the male blossoms of the 
Sallow are worn, and brought into the houses. 

Good Friday is a general holiday. At Wakefield, the 
men from the neighbouring villages collect, or did collect, 
on Heath Common, and hold rough and noisy revellings, 
"knur and spell" matches being a great feature. Hot- 
cross buns are on every breakfast table, and the first 
potatoes of the year are set in the cottage gardens. 
Parsley seed must also be planted, but by a member 
of the family, for should a stranger sow it, great trouble 
will come to the house. 

Easter Monday and Tuesday. On this Monday, the 
girls endeavour to obtain the boys' caps. If they succeed 
in so doing, and the owners cannot recover their property 
before the Tuesday, they in their turn must take off the 
boots of the girls who have robbed them. 

May Day. As in other parts of the north, the same 
practice is followed as on the first of April, only the name 
"May gosling" is used in place of "April fool." Beyond 
this, little notice is now taken of May Day. The Maypole 
is practically a thing of the past. Horses are decorated 
with ribbons and flowers, and, I believe, in some towns 
prizes are given to the owners, or caretakers, of the most 


elaborately decked out animals. In country places there 
is keen competition among the boys, each striving to show 
the longest string of birds' eggs collected during that year. 
Care will have been taken to keep these out of doors, as it 
is unlucky to bring "wild eggs " into the house. 

Midsummer Night. Girls occasionally gather a stem 
of " Live-long " (Sedum fab aria), and suspend it, upside 
down, from the kitchen ceiling. Should it send out young 
shoots, or appear to live, and keep succulent till All Hal- 
lows Eve, they consider it a sign that their lover will be 
true, and that they will eventually marry him. After dark, 
they also plant parsley seed, repeating while they do so : 

" Parsley seed I set, parsley seed I sow, 
The young man 'at I love, come to me now." 

Then, should they be destined for matrimony, the future 
husband will appear in their dreams. Many men fear to 
sleep out of doors on Midsummer Eve or Day, as " some- 
thing " might happen to them if they did so. 

June. During summer, the children are fond of making 
" trees " or " dollies " out of dogtail grass (Cynosurus cris- 
tatus}. Gathering a handful, they twist other individual 
heads of grass round the stalks of the former, binding 
bunches of more heads at intervals down the stems, so 
that they stick out from the sides in a fancied resem- 
blance to branches of trees. In Lincolnshire, the men 
used to amuse themselves by making similar devices on 
Sunday afternoons. Beyond passing the time, it did not 
appear to be done for any definite purpose, though "the 
tree" was often presented to the lady-love when com- 
pleted. I mention this pastime as there is a strong likeness 
between these grass ornaments and some past illustrations 
I think in the Folk-lore Magazine of kern-babies. Could 
it be that the one is a survival of the other? In some 
parts of the West Riding, the people consider it is unlucky 
to gather " lady-shakes " or " trembling-jocks " (Briza 
media] ; in other parts bunches of it are at this time 


collected and brought into the house, under the impression 
that they will drive away mice : 

" A Trembling-Jock in the hoose 
An' you won't have a moose. " 

All Hallows Eve. This is the night for divinations. 
All spells must be worked in silence, and as much alone 
as possible best of all after the rest of the household 
have retired for the night. The following are some of 
the most popular : 

1. Write the name of your lover on a very small slip 
of paper, and after folding it up into a pellet, roll it in 
pipeclay, so that the whole forms a small pill. Drop 
this into a basin of water, which should be standing ready. 
Your lover will be true if the ball falls asunder so as to 
expose the paper. Should you have a rival, then make 
two pills, one containing his or her name, one yours. 
Whichever first breaks will marry the lover. 

2. During the day, make a small dough-cake, and at 
night eat it before the fire, all the time thinking of your 
sweetheart. As soon as it is eaten, go upstairs back- 
wards, and the last thing before getting into bed, brush 
your hair in front of the looking-glass. Your future 
husband will now appear, looking over your shoulder, and 
reflected in the mirror. If no one appears, it is a sign 
that you will never marry. 

3. Take a Bible. Place the front door key between the 
leaves, so that the wards cover the words of Song of Sol. 
viii. 6, 7, and tie it in place securely with your garter. Now 
suspend the book by yourself and a friend each placing the 
fore-finger of her left hand under the handle of the key. 
Each in turn should now repeat these words : 

" Turn Bible, turn key, 
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, 
H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, 
Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z." 

When the first letter of the future husband's name is 


mentioned, the Bible will slowly turn round. This should 
be done twice for the Christian and the surname. 

4. Eat an apple, and throw the pips into the fire, 
saying : 

" If you love me, crack and fly ; 
If you hate me, burn and die." 

5. Stick an onion full of pins, and throw it into the 
fire. Then, as it burns, say : 

" 'Tis not this onion I mean to stick, 
But my lover's heart I mean to prick. 
May he not rest either night or day, 
Till he cometh or sendeth. For this I pray." 

When the onion is burnt, retire backwards upstairs. You 
should then dream of the future husband. 

6. Place two chestnuts on the bars, one representing 
yourself, the other your sweetheart. If when cracking 
they fly apart, your marriage will not take place; if they 
remain together, it certainly will. 

7. Carefully pare an apple so that the peel comes off 
entire. Throw the curl of peel over your left shoulder, 
when it will fall and form the first letter of your future 
husband's name. (This last is not reserved for All 
Hallows Eve, and though practised then, may be tried 
at any time.) 

Christmas Season. From about three weeks before 
Christmas until the New Year, children come round during 
the evenings with the " wassail cup," and sing the well- 
known wassail song from house to house. This " wassail 
cup" consists of a box, generally as large as the children 
can conveniently carry, and containing from one to three 
dolls. One theory is that originally there were always 
three, representing, it is said, the Virgin, Infant Christ, 
and James, " the Lord's Brother." The box is ornamented 
with coloured paper, oranges, rosy apples, glass balls, 
moss, &c., which are arranged round the dolls, a cloth 
being thrown over the whole. At Leeds the girls usually 


sing the "Seven Joys of Mary," and the "wassail box," 
as it is called there, has only two dolls in it. 

During the weeks before and after Christmas Day, it 
is customary to give mince-pies (containing fruit mince- 
meat) to visitors; for every mince-pie eaten in another 
person's house before New Year's Day brings a happy 
month in the following year. Pies made of pig mince- 
meat are also part of the Christmas cheer. 

Christmas Eve. Houses are decorated with ever- 
greens, and in many homes a " Mistletoe " is made and 
hung from the ceiling. This is composed of two hoops 
fixed the one inside and across the other. They are 
covered with evergreens, and decorated with oranges, 
glass ornaments, and paper flowers. If a piece of mistle- 
toe can be suspended on the centre, so much the better ; but 
even without this addition it may be used for kissing pur- 
poses, as is the mystic plant from which it takes its name. 

Christmas Day. In many villages, during the early 
hours, six boys, known as " The Six Jolly Miners," go 
round singing from house to house ; and from five o'clock 
small boys go round " to let in Christmas." This is 
done by calling in a loud voice through the keyhole or 
letter-box : 

" I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, 
A pocket full of money, and a cellar full of beer, 
And a good fat pig to kill every year. 
Please will you let me IN ? (this word extra loud) 
A hole in my stocking, a hole in my shoe, 
Please will you give me a copper or two ? 

When Christmas bills are paid, it is customary to 
return any fraction of a shilling as a Christmas box for 
the children of the debtor. 


There is widespread belief in the supernatural. The 
following legend illustrates one kind of spirit commonly 
believed in : 


The Haunted Farm. Near Barnsley, there is an old 
farmhouse quite in the country, and standing alone in some 
fields. This place used to be haunted. No one could live 
there for more than a few weeks at a time, on account 
of a ghost, whose habit it was to parade the kitchen during 
the small hours of the morning. The owner at last, driven 
to desperation, offered a handsome reward to any one who 
would undertake to sit up for a night, and interview the 
apparition; for report stated that the ghost would cease 
" to walk " when a human being was found brave enough 
to ask it what it wanted. A workman in the neighbour- 
hood at once volunteered, a farm boy undertaking to bear 
him company. They shut themselves into the haunted 
kitchen, and at midnight, as they were seated by the fire, 
they felt a cold wind blow round them, and, turning sud- 
denly, saw the figure of an old man standing behind them. 
The watchers, nothing daunted, and thinking of the pro- 
mised reward, asked the ghost its reason for coming ; and 
were instructed, by way of reply, to take up the hearth- 
stone as soon as day broke. In the morning the man 
and boy did so, and, to the great surprise of all, found 
concealed beneath it a large bag of money, which was 
divided between them as a reward for their courage. 
From that time the house has been undisturbed, nothing 
more having been seen or heard of its mysterious nightly 

The Grey Cat. It is always an unlucky omen, and 
frequently a sign of death, to see the Grey Cat. This 
spectre is tall and very thin, with big, round, flashing 
eyes, and it always appears in the dusk of the even- 
ing. A woman may go to her cottage door and see it 
standing in the garden, looking at her; or when she is 
hurrying home, late in the evening, it will suddenly appear 
walking before her, and will keep turning its head to look 
at her out of fiery eyes. The Grey Cat will endeavour 
to make you follow it, but this you must never do ; it is 
better to go miles out of the way, or even on the field 


side of the hedge, than keep to the path if the cat is in 
front of you. 

Jack-in-Irons, This seems to be a town ghost, who 
may be seen at any time after dark. He is a terribly strong 
man, gaunt, and at least ten feet high, with clanking chains 
at feet and wrists. He suddenly appears in quiet streets, 
or springs out of dark corners, in order to carry off the 
unwary pedestrian to unknown regions. 


In many places there still lingers a belief in witchcraft, 
as may be seen from the following story told by Mrs. R., 
and firmly believed by all her family and neighbours. She 
was roasting a goose for the feast, sitting and basting it as 
it turned on a spit before the fire. Quite suddenly she 
stuck fast to the chair, and losing all power in hands and 
feet, was unable to attend to her cooking, which was con- 
sequently burnt as black as a coal. Her old man, coming 
in out of the garden, said : " Hannah, lass ! what art a 
doin' to let t'bod bon ? " She explained the state she was 
in, adding that, without doubt, their neighbour, " Oud Mary," 
had bewitched her. The husband agreeing this must be 
the case, suggested that the said Mary should that night 
"be stoved out"; after which treatment they could judge 
of her guilt by the state of her hands in the morning. The 
stoving out was done in the following way : After dusk, 
the man " made up " all the windows and door, in order to 
keep their kitchen as air-tight as possible, and having pro- 
cured a calf's heart and some straw, he stuck the one full 
of pins, and solemnly burnt it on the other. As soon as 
the fire touched the flesh, Old Mary came outside, rattling 
at the door-latch, and begging to be let in. The old couple 
made no answer, and took no notice. She continued to 
shout and scream, and the more she did so, the faster and 
fiercer burnt the heart. Next morning all the skin was 
torn and burnt off Mary's hands, a sure sign that she had 


been the cause of the sudden seizure. Mrs. R. recovered, 
and when asked if she were not afraid of another attack, 
answered : " No, lass ; we stoved 'er oot ; she can niver do 
aught to me again ! " 

In many places, bread is marked with a cross " to keep 
the witch out " ; and empty egg-shells are broken, as 
witches might otherwise make use of them. Also, nail- 
parings and hair-combings are burnt, as, obtaining them, 
witches would gain power over their original owner. A 
horse-shoe over the door will render a witch powerless. 


Regarding Flowers. If a child picks "black-man- 
flower" {Prunella vulgaris), the devil will carry him off 
in the night. 

" Dead-men's-fingers " (Orchis masculd) is a "bad" 
plant, and must never be gathered. 

When the "bod-eye" {Veronica Chamcedrys) or pim- 
pernel (Anagallis arvensis} is open, no rain will fall. 

On finding a root of " shepherd's-purse " (Capsella Bursa- 
pastoris), open a seed-vessel ; if the seed is yellow you will 
be rich, but if green you will be poor. 

Foxgloves kill all other plants. 

If fruit trees blossom out of season, it is an unlucky 

It is unlucky to bring hawthorn or fruit blossom into 
the house. 

When striking cuttings, always take three or they 
will not grow; and if you plant them in a pot, put them 
close to its edge that it may " draw t'roots oot." 

" I will give my apple to those who have an orchard." 

" He may blag (gather blackberries) till hips are ripe " 
(said to imply, he may have all the trouble and wasted time 
possible for anything I care). 

Animal, Bird, and Insect Sayings. It is unlucky for 


a rabbit to cross your path, and a white rabbit, seen after 
dusk, is a sign of death. 

A black cat is lucky, a tabby is a good mouser, a " chintz 
cat" (tortoiseshell) shows the mistress of the house is a 
good housewife. 

It is unlucky for a cat to die in the house. 

If ever there be blood mixed with a cow's milk, it is 
a sign that the milker has done something very wrong. 

When you see your first lamb of the year, or hear the 
first cuckoo, turn your money for luck. It is unfortunate if 
you have no money with you at the time. 

Rats will not come where guinea-pigs are kept. 

If a horse were to turn right over when rolling it 
would die. 

It is unlucky for a rook to fly over the house. 

For any bird, except a pigeon or a robin, to enter the 
house is a sign of good luck. 

The first egg of the year which a goose lays will never 

" Many cuckoos make a fine summer." 

It is unlucky to set a hen on a Friday, or to allow her to 
sit on an even number of eggs. 

" Too high for the hawk, and too low for the buzzard ; " 
said of people who consider themselves superior to their 
equals, but are not equal to their superiors. 

" He thought he had got a goldfinch, but it proved a 
wagtail ; " said of a man who had married for money, and 
was disappointed in his expectations. 

" It's a poor hen that cannot scratch for her chickens." 

A spider in the house without a web is a sign of rain. 

To see a spider in the morning is good luck ; to see one 
in the evening bad luck. 

It is lucky to have crickets in the house. As a rule 
they are harmless, but once a year they grow wings, and 
for a short time can fly about, and will then bite if annoyed. 

Should a ladybird settle on an unmarried person, it is a 
sign that they shall marry and have good luck in life. 


Superstitions regarding People. If your nose itches, 
shake hands with some one, and say : " Kissed, cursed, 
or vexed, shake hands with a fool." After this you will 
not be vexed, but you may be kissed or cursed. 

If during the day the right cheek burns, some one is 
speaking well of you ; but if the left cheek burns you are 
being abused. This is not so in the evening, at which time 
burning cheeks always show that you are being well spoken 
of. " Left or right is good at night." 

Miscellaneous Sayings. A falling or shooting star is a 
soul going to heaven. Shooting stars are also a sign of 
fine weather. 

Never look at a new moon through glass. Go to the 
door, make a curtsey to her, and wish a wish. ''The moon 
on her back " foretells rain. 

A comet foretells war and bloodshed. 

If the fire burns badly your sweetheart is in a bad 
temper. If it burns hollow, or only on one side, it is a 
sign of parting or of rain. Should a cinder fly out of the 
fire, it must be carefully examined to ascertain whether 
it the more resembles a purse or coffin. If the former 
it will bring good luck, if the latter it foretells death or 

It is unlucky to find a " winding-sheet " in a candle. A 
" winding-sheet " is a flat piece of wax or tallow, which, 
drooping over the side, is inclined to wind over on itself. 
A fragment of wick or rubbish in the flame, causing the 
candle to burn in an uneven way, is spoken of as "a 
stranger," and indicates that one is shortly coming to 
the house. Where there is a little bright point in the 
flame, it means that a letter may be expected. If on 
shaking the candle the spark falls, it is a sign that the 
letter has been posted. Should a candle splutter when it 
is lighted, or in any way ignite badly, then be sure it is 
going to rain. 

It is unlucky for two letters to cross one another in the 


If your clothes are mended "on your back," some one 
will tell lies of you during the day. 

It is a lucky thing to accidentally put on a garment 
inside out. 

It is unlucky to stir a neighbour's pudding, or, with 
the exception of the Christmas pudding, for two people 
to stir the same. 

On finding an old horseshoe, or piece of iron, spit on 
it, and throw it over the left shoulder for luck. 

Should two people wash in the same water, they must 
each make a cross on the surface, or otherwise they will 

If a pair of scissors or a knife be given away, they will 
" cut love " unless a coin be taken in exchange. 

To drop a knife at table indicates that a stranger is 

It is unlucky to place a bread-loaf upside down, or to 
break the top off a cottage loaf. 

" A rouk-town (gossip) is seldom a good housewife." 

"As throng as Thrip's wife when she hanged herself 
with her dish-clout." 

"As queer as Dick's hatband, which went nine times 
round and wouldn't tie." 

"There is a hill against a dale all Wensley Dale over." 
There is always an advantage to counterbalance a dis- 

" Rich man's sickness and poor man's pancakes are 
smelt a long way off." 

"Coal sellers know where coal buyers live." This was 
said meaning, " a thief knows where to dispose of his theft." 

"As straight as a torch." 

There are many more sayings and superstitions prevalent 
in the West Riding, but they are more or less common 
elsewhere. The folk-lore here given is local, or rather 
different in form from that found in other parts. 



ABBEY Bells, Jervaulx, 222 
Byland, 209; bell, 220 

Fountains, 202, 204 

Jervaulx, 204 

Kirkstall, 202-204 

Rievaulx, 209 

Roche, 210 

Selby, 207-209 

Whitby, St. Hilda's, bells, 


York, St. Mary's, 206 

Acaster Malbis Church, 130, 142 
Adel bell-cote, 120 

Church, no, 126, 129 

History of the Parish <?/", 184 

Norman doorway, 128, 165, 

I7L 183 

Adwick-on-Dearne Saxon chancel 

arch, 122 

Aelred of Rievaulx, 274 
Ainderby Steeple chancel, 144 

nail-head capitals, 139 

Aldborough Church (near Bor- 

oughbridge), 141 

porch, 152 

Roman milestone at, 16 

Aldborough (in Holderness), sun- 
dial at, 112 
Alne Church, 185, 189 

plain arcade at, 141 

Amotherby Church, 135 
Amphorae, 51 

Ancient Sculpttire and Painting, 

Carter's, 187 
Animal, Bird, and Insect Sayings, 


Anston Church, 152 
Antiquities, Bronze Age, 4-6 
Appleton-le-Street Church, 134 

tower, 1 1 6, 120 

Archbishop of Canterbury, Lan- 

franc, 87 
St. Anselm, 88 

of York, Gerard, 88 

Archbishop of York, Thomas of 

Bayeux, 87 
Thoresby, 89 

Thurstan's grant of a Hans 

House, Beverley, 272 

Archbishops of York and Canter- 
bury, 87-89 

Archbishop's palace, York, 103 

Arksey Church, in, 148, 151, 

Arncliffe-in-Craven bell, 223 

Arras barrow, 9 

horse bit found at, 9 

Askham Bryan Church, 131, 133 

eastern triplet, 121 

outer porch, 177 

Richard Church, 131 

Aysgarth Church, 109 

BAILE Hill, York, 103 
Bainton Church, 142, 152 
Bar, Bootham, 102, 103 

Micklegate, 102, 103 

Monk, 102, 103 

Walmgate, 103 

Bardsey Norman doorway, 167 

tower, 115 

Barmston, south aisle at, 133 
Barnburgh Church, 147 
Barrow at Arras, 9 

at Hessleskew, 9 

Riccall, 2 

Skipwith, 2 

Wykeham Moor, 2 

Barrows, 2-4 
Barton-le-Street, 179, 181 

Norman sculptures, 

Barwick-in-Elmet, earthworks at, 


Bawtry Norman doorway, 200 
Bayeux Tapestry, 242 
Beak-head ornament on Norman 

doorways, 172 


3 o8 


Beak-head ornament on Norman 
doorways, list of churches with, 

Bedale, foliated capitals at, 139 

south aisle at, 141 

Bede, Venerable, 266 

Bells and Bell-founders, 220-235 

cast in churches, 225 

destroyed by fires, 224 

Beverley and its Minster, 265- 


St. John of, 266-267 

Biographical Notes on Yorkshire 

Bell-founders, 230-234 
Birdforth Saxon chancel-arch, 

Bird, Insect, and Animal Sayings, 

Birkin Church, i n, 118, 119, 129, 

185, 194 

Norman doorway, 128 

south aisle at, 133 

Bishop Fisher of Rochester, 247 

Hill, York, Inscription 

found on, 44 

Wilton Church, 185, 190 

of Durham's castle atNorth- 

allerton, 243 

Bishops of York, early, 81-84 
Blackstone Edge Road, 29-33 
Blunders in bell legends, 228 
Blyth (Tickhill) Castle, 240, 241, 

242, 249, 255, 261 
Bolton by Bowland Church, 1 10 

Castle, 251 

extra-muralchapel at, 


Percy chancel, 183 

Bootham Bar, 102, 103, 166 
Bossall Church, 130, 140 

Norman doorway, 201 

thirteenth - century door- 
way, 139 

Bowes Castle, 246, 247 

(Lavatrae) inscription to 

Fortune at, 43 

Braithwell, south aisle at, 133 
Brayton Church, 11, 152, 185, 

Norman doorway, 128 

tower, 118 

Transitional tower, 150 

Brigantes, 11, 63 

Brompton, near Northallerton, 


Bronze Age Antiquities, 4-6 

pottery, 6 

Bubwith Church, 120 

tower, 146 

Bugthorpe Church, 126 
Burghwallis Church, in, 126 
Burh of pre-Conquest times, 236 
Burnsall Church, no 

By land Abbey, 209, 220 

Cambodunum, position of, 22 
" Campana Sancti Quintini, 

1667," 227 
Campsall Church, in, 148, 149, 


clerestory, 155 

tower, 150, 151 

Canterbury, Archbishops of York 

and, 87-89 

Carnaby, south aisle at, 133 
Castel, the fortress, 237 
Castle built by Earl Alan, Rich- 
mond, 239 
Castleford, Roman milestone at, 

Castle Howard, Roman pottery 

at, 50 
Castle not identical with burh, 


Castles, Yorkshire, 236-264 
Cathedral Church of St. Peter, 

York, 85 

Ripon, 210, 211 

Catterick chancel-chapels, 152- 

Cawood Castle, 260, 261 

Church, 199 

Cayton, Norman north arcade at, 


Ceremonial, &c., folk-lore, 289-293 
Chancel arches and doors, list of 

Norman, 128 
list of Saxon, 122 

Scawton, 123 

Chariot burial at Danes Graves, 7 

at Haywold, 8 

at Middleton, 9 

at Pickering, 9 

Charter of Charles II., Beverley, 


of James II., Beverley, 273 

Chase, Hatfield, 68-69 

Christ Church, Micklegate, York, 



Christian inscription at York, 

supposed, 49, 80 
Christianity in Roman York, 49, 

Church Rides in the Neighbourhood 

of Scarborough, 200 
Churches deprived of bells for 

punishment, 224 

in York, Parish, 97-99 

Churches, village, 106-164 
Cleckheaton, "White Chapel" 

at, no 

Clifford's Tower, York, 103, 253 

Composition of the College, 
Beverley Minster, 284 

Conan, Earl, 243 

" Confessional," query anker- 
hold at Tanfield, 148 

Conisbrough Castle, 166, 251-253 

Church, i2i, 139, 200 

Coniston Church, no 

Conovian citizen, inscription to 
a, 49 

Copgrove Church bell stolen, 223 

Copmanthorpe, Norman chapel 
of, 131 

Cottam font, 124 

Coverham, south aisle at, 133 

Cowesby Church, 109 

Cowlam font, 124 

Cowthorpe Church, 130 

movable oak structure, 145 

Coxwold Church, 162 

Crayke Castle, 260 
Croft-on-Tees Church, 145, 146, 


Crofton Church, 130 

Customs of certain seasons, folk- 
lore, 294-299 

DALBY Saxon chancel-arch, 122 
Danby Wiske Norman doorway, 

1 68 

Danes Graves, chariot burial at, 7 
Darfield Church, in, 135, 141, 146 
Darrington Church, in 
Darton Church, 147, 155 
Demetrius the scribe, 53 
Doncaster, St. George Church, 

Doors, list of Norman chancel 

arches and, 128 
Drawings of castles, note on 

illustrations from ancient, 262- 


EARLIEST English bell inscription 
in Yorkshire, 226 

notice of church bells, 

Hackness monastery, 220 

Early bishops of York, 81-84 
Early Christian Symbolism, J. R. 

Allen's, 189 

Early Iron Age in Yorkshire, 6-10 
Earthworks at Barton-in-Elmet, 


at Laughton-en-le-Morthen, 

242, 262 

at Mexborough, 242 

Easby, south aisle at, 133 
Easingwold Church, 139, 142 
East Ayton Saxon chancel-arch, 


Easter sepulchres, 143 
Eboracum,legions connected with, 


pronunciation of, 78 

Roman town of, 52-58 

Temple to Serapis at, 42 

Ecclesfield Church, in, 156 
Edlington Church, 127, 128 

porch, 157 

Transitional arcade, 138 

Elizabeth's incorporation of 

Beverley, 273 
Ermine Street, 14 
Escomb, Durham, 112 
Escrick Park, 76 
Etton Church, 125, 181, 185 

FANGFOSS Church, 185 
Feliskirk apse, 118 

restoration, 130 

Filey Church, 130 

Norman doorway, 200 

Fishlake Church, in, 151, 185, 


Norman doorway, 128 

Flowers, superstitions regarding, 


Folk-lore, Yorkshire, 286-305 

Fonts, Yorkshire, 124 

Force in Yorkshire, Roman mili- 
tary, 35-39 

Forest, Galtres, 69 

Knaresborough, 67-68 

of Ouse and Derwent, 69- 


Pickering, 67 
Skipton, 68 
Wensleydale, 66-67 



Forests, Royal, 64-76 
Fountains Abbey, 202, 204 
Fragmenta Vetusta, Halfpenny's, 

187, 201 
Fridaythorpe Church, 125 

GALE of 1222, 71 

Galtres, Forest of, 64 

Garton Church, 123 

Genii, 43 

Gerard, Archbishop of York, 88 

Ghost folk-lore, 299-301 

Gilling Castle, 257, 261 

Givendale Church, 125 

Goodmanham Church, 125 

Great Driffield Norman doorway, 

139, 200 

Great Langton east window, 145 
Gregory's interview with British 

slaves at Rome, 83, 84 
Greta Bridge, nymphs at, 43 

Roman milestone at, 16 

Grinton Church, 109 

vaulted sacristy, 147 

HACKNESS Church, 152 

monastery, earliest notice 

of church bells, 220 

Hadrian the African, 267 
Hardraw Church, 109 
Harewood Castle, 260 
Harpham Church, 147 
Hatfield, 199 

Chase, 64, 68, 69 

Church, in, 152 

Haywold, chariot burial at, 8 
Healaugh Church, 185, 190, 198, 

Hedon Church, in, 138, 140 

Norman doorway, 200 

Helmsley Castle, 166, 248, 261 

Church, 190 

Hemingbrough Church, 1 1 1 
Herring-bone work, 126 
Hessle, thirteenth-century door- 
way, 139 

Hessleskew barrow, 9 
Hickleton Church, 127, 146 

porch, 151 

High Melton, 127 

Saxon chancel-arch, 


south aisle at, 133 

Hilton Church, 120 

History of the Parish of A del, 184 

Holme-on-SpaldingMoor, Roman 

pottery at, 50 
Hooton Pagnell Church, 126, 127, 


tower, 1 1 8 

Roberts, south aisle at, 133 

Hornby Church, 136 
Hornsea crypt, 154 

Horse bits, Early Iron Age, 9 
Hospital of St. Peter, York, 85 
Houses in York, Religious, 100- 

of York, mediaeval, 104 

Hovingham tower, 116 
Howden Church, in 
Hubberholme Church, no 
Husthwaite, Saxon chancel-arch, 

Hutton Rudby, south aisle at, 

Hymn to St. William of York, 78 

ILKLEY, Roman town of, 60-62 
" Inderawuda," 266 
Ingleby Greenhow apse, 118 

north arcade at, 1 36 

Inscription at York, supposed 

Christian, 49, 80 
found on Bishop Hill, York, 


to a Conovian citizen, 49 

Inscriptions, Roman sepulchral, 

48, 49 

to Fortune, 43 

Insect, Bird, and Animal Sayings, 

302, 303 
Iron age in Yorkshire, Early, 6- 


Isurium, Roman town of, 58-60 
Iter, the First, 17-20 

the Second, 20-24 

the Fifth, 24-29 

JERVAULX Abbey, 204 

bells, 222 

Jews in York, massacre of, 103 

KILHAM Church, 125 

Kiln wick Percy Church, 125 

Kirby Hill Church, 113, 115 

Norman doorway, 

1 68 

Knowle Church, 109 

Sigston, north arcade of, 



Kirby Sigston, sculptured foliage 
at, 139 

Underdale Church, 125, 135 

Kirkburn Church, 123, 124, 129, 

185, 197 
Kirkby Malharn Church, no 

Misperton, south aisle, 133 

Wiske chancel, 144, 145 

plain arcade at, 141 

porch, 152 

Kirkdale, Gregory's Minster, 1 1 2, 


Norman doorway, 167 

Kirk Ella chancel, 143 

Hammerton Church, 109, 

114, 115, 117, 127 

Norman doorway, 167 

Kirkham Priory, 177, 206 
Kirkleatham Church, 108 
Kirk Levington Church, 120 
Kirklington Church, 152 
Kirkstall Abbey, 171, 202-204 
Knaresborough Castle, 256, 257, 


- Forest, 64, 67, 68 
twelve bells of Trinitarian 

Priory, 222 

LANFRANC, Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, 87 

Langtoft, south aisle at, 133 
Lastingham Church, 129 

crypt, 117, 1 1 8, 1 20, 154 

Late Gothic Towers, list of, 160 
Laughton - en - le - Morthen, 117, 

earthworks at, 242, 262 

Norman doorway, 167 

Leake, sculptured foliage at, 1 39 
Ledsham Church, 147 

Norman doorway, 168 

Leechcraft folk-lore, 286-289 
Legends, blunders in bell, 228 
List of bell-founders, 228-230 

of buildings with Norman 

doorways, 211, 219 

of churches with old glass, 


of rood screens, 156 

Little Ouseburn bell, 222 
Liversedge Church bells, made 

from French cannon, 222 

Liverton Church, 108 

Londesborough Norman door- 
way, 167 

Longmarston Norman doorway, 


Loversall, south aisle at, 133 
Lowside windows, 142 

MALTON, Roman town of, 62- 


Malzeard Castle, 242 
Markenfield manor-house, 258 
Marr, south aisle at, 133 
Marton bell, near Borough- 
bridge, 224 
Marton - on - the - Forest Saxon 

chancel-arch, 122 
Masham Church, 152 
Massacre of Jews in York, 103 
Mediaeval houses of York, 104 
Meltham Church, consecrated 

1651 by Bishop Tilson, 160 
Methley stone screen, 147 
Mexborough, earthworks at, 242 
Micklegate Bar, York, 102, 103, 

1 66 

Middleham Castle, 246, 247 
Middlethorp, Roman pottery at, 

Middleton chariot burial, 9 

- Tyas, foliated capitals, 141 
Norman arcade, 1 34 

Milestones, Roman, 16-17 
Military Force, Roman, 35-39 
Millington Church, 125 
Minster, Beverley, 265-285 

- York and its, 77-105 
College of Hundred 

Priests, 96 
College of Vicars 

Choral, 95 

Horn of Ulphus, 94 

- its constitution, 95 

its glass, 92, 93 
Norman crypt, 178 

St. William's College, 
96, 105 

Scrope Mazer, 94 

Sepulchre's Chapel, 

Miscellaneous folk-lore sayings, 

304, 305 

Mithras, mysteries of, 42 
Moat, York, 103 
Monastery of Galmanho.York, 85 
Monk Bar, 102, 103 
Monuments, Roman sepulchral, 




Moor Monkton chancel, 119 
Mortar cast in 1308 by William 

Towthorpe, 224 
Muker bell, Swaledale, 224 
Multangular tower, York, 57, 80, 


NAFFERTON Church, 135, 152 
Nether Poppleton Saxon chancel- 
arch, 122 
Ninth Legion at Eboracum, 36- 


Norman chancel-arches and 
doors, 128 

crypt, York Minster, 178 

doorways, 165-219 

Mr. Keyser's list and 

references, 211-219 

Tympana and Lintels, list 

of, 168, 169, 170 

Northallerton, Bishop of Dur- 
ham's castle at, 243 

Church, 1 08, 139 

North Cave, cross-plan, 151 

Grimston font, 124 

Newbald Church, 129, 130 

Otterington Church, 121 

Norton Conyers, burial-place of 

the Nortons at, 146 
Note on illustrations from ancient 

drawings of castles, 262-264 
Nunburnholme Church, 125 
Nun Monkton Church, 109, 136, 

137, 140, 204 

Nunneries in York, 100, 101 
Nymphs at Greta Bridge, 43 

OAK structure at Cowthorpe, 

movable, 145 

Ogelby's Book of Roads, 25 
Old bell customs, 234 
Old Malton, 204 
Transitional nave, 

137. J 39 

Organ, Beverley Minster, 277 
Osmotherley, post-Norman door- 
way, 128 

south aisle at, 133 

Ossuarium found in York, 45 
Ouse and Derwent, forest of, 69- 

Owston aisle chapels, 147 

chancel, 145 

Church, 1 1 1 

porch, 151 

PALACE, York, Archbishop's, 103 
Parish churches in York, 97-99 
Park, Escrick, 76 
Patrick Brompton chancel, 144, 


porch, 152 

Transitional arcade 

of, 136, 139 
Patrington Church, in, 140, 141 

Easter Sepulchre, 143 

Paulinus, Bishop, 84 

Penistone Church, 152 

People, superstitions regarding, 


Percy family, York, 103 
Pickering Castle, 166-249, 255 
chariot burial at, 9 

Church, 152 

Forest, 64, 67 

Pontefract Castle, 240, 241, "242, 

253-255, 261 

Forest, 64 

Post- Reformation churches and 
work, 160-161 

naming of church bell]: 

Haddesley, 226; Kirk Ham- 
merton, 227 

Pottery, Bronze Age, 6 

Roman, 49-52 

Pre-Conquest plan of churches, 


Prehistoric Yorkshire, i-io 
Priories in York, 100, 101 
Priory, Kirkham, 206 

lozenge ornament, 


Knaresborough, the twelve 

bells of Trinitarian, 222 

Richmond, St. Martin's, 


Sinningthwaite, 206 

lozenge ornament, 


Pronunciation of Eboracum, 78 
Proverbs, Sayings, and Supersti- 
tions, 302-305 
Provost of Beverley, 284 
Provost's Book, Simon Russell, 
compiler of, 266 

RAVENSWORTH Castle, 260 

Reighton font, 124 

Religious Houses in York, 100- 

Riccall barrow, 2 



Riccall Church, in, 185, 195 

Transitional arcade, 138 

tower, 1 1 8, 150 

Richmond Castle, 166, 239, 241, 

242, 243-247, 249 
Rievaulx Abbey, 171, 209 

Aelred of, 274 

Ripon Cathedral, 210, 211 

Hospital chapel, St. Mary 

Magdalene, 176 

St. Mary Magdalene's Hos- 
pital bell, 223 
Rise, ornamented horse- bit found 

at, 9 

Roche Abbey, 210 
Romaldkirk sacristy, 147 
Roman milestones, 16-17 

military force, 35-39 

- potteries, 49-52 

roads, 14-15, 17-35 

the First Iter, 17-20 

the Second Iter, 20-24 

the Fifth Iter, 24-29 
Blackstone Edge, 29- 



Wade's Causeway, 33- 
sepulchral inscriptions, 48- 
sepulchral monuments, 44- 

towns, 52-63 

worship, 39-44 

York, Christianity in, 49, 80 

Yorkshire, 1 1-63 

Roos sacristy, 147 

Royal forests, 64-76 

Rudston chancel windows, 143 

Saxon chancel-arch, 122 

Russell, Simon, compiler of 

Provost's Book, 266 
" Rylstone, The White Doe of," 

Ryther Saxon chancel-arch, 122 

ST. ANSELM, Archbishop of 

Canterbury, 88 
St. Brithunus, 268 
St. Denis Church, York, 185, 186 
St. Hilda's Abbey, Whitby, 220 
St. John of Beverley, 266, 267 
St. Lawrence Church, York, 185 
St. Leonard's Hospital, York, 202 
St. Margaret Church, York, 185, 


St. Martin's Priory, Richmond, 


Church, York, 199 

St. Mary, Bishop-Hill Senior, 

York, 200 

Magdalene's Hospital bell, 

Ripon, 223 

Abbey, York, 206 

St. Maurice Church, York, 185 
St. Sampson, Bishop of York, 81, 

St. Thomas at Canterbury, 

shrine of, 89 

St. William of York, hymn to, 78 
St. William's Chapel, Ousebridge, 

York, 20 1 
St. Winwald, 268 
St. Winworth, 268 
Salton Church, 122 
Sandal Magna Church, 151 
Saxon chancel-arches, list of, 122 

towers, list of, 115 

Scarborough Castle, 247, 248, 

249, 261 
Scawton Church, 122, 123, 220 

Saxon chancel-arch, 122 

Scolland's Hall, 244 
Screen-work in village churches, 


Seamer Church, 125 
Second Legion at Eboracum, 36- 


Secular use of church bells, 235 
Selby Abbey, 207 

Norman doorway, 201 

Sepulchral inscriptions, Roman, 

48, 49 

monuments, Roman, 44-49 

Serapis at Eboracum, temple to, 

Settlement of precedence between 

Archisbishops of Canterbury 

and York, 89 
Settrington Church, 152 
Sherburn-in-Elmet chancel, 137, 


Church, in, 125, 146 

nave at, 131, 133 

tower, 150 

Sheriff-Hutton Castle, 258 

Church, 109, 141, 152 

Shipton Church carved beak 

heads, 179 

Shrine of St. Thomas at Canter 
bury, 89 


Silkstone, chancel-arch at, 135 

Church, 153, 155, 156 

Sinningthwaite Priory, 177, 206 
Sixth Legion at Eboracum, 36- 

Skelton Church (near York), 109, 


Skipsea Castle, 240, 242 
Skipton Castle, 166, 261 

Forest, 64, 68 

Skipwith barrow, 2 
chancel, 142, 145 

Church, in 

tower, 116 

Skirpenbeck Saxon chancel-arch, 

Slack, inscription to Fortune at, 


Roman station at, 22 
Sledmere Church, 163 
Slingsby Castle, 261 
Snaith Church, in, 151 
Snape Castle, 259 
South Kilvington Church, 121 

Kirkby Church, 155 

Skirlaugh, 130 

Speeton Saxon chancel-arch, 122 
Spires and towers, 157-160 
Spofforth Castle, 259 
Sprotbrough chancel windows, 


Church, 152 

" frith stool," 161 

Stainton, south aisle at, 133 
Stalls, Beverley Minster, the 

largest set in England, 284 
Stanwick, metal objects found 

at, 9 
Statue of James II., Newcastle, 

made into bells, 222 
Steeton Chapel (destroyed), 202 
Stillingfleet Church, in, 146, 

185, 186, 196, 198 
Norman doorway, 


sculptured capitals, 141 

Stonegrave Jacobean chancel- 
screen, 161 

Sundials, 112 

Sundial with legend, " Now or 
When," Beverley, 283 

Superstitions, Sayings, and Pro- 
verbs, 302, 305 

Swine, nun's church at, 134 

Priory, 147 

TANFIELD Castle, 260 

Tapestry, Bayeux, 242 

Temple to Serapis at Eboracum, 

Terrington aisle chapel, 147 

Norman doorway, 167 

Thirsk Castle, 242 

chancel chapels, 147 

clerestory, 154 

crypt-chapel, 154 

western tower, 153 

Thomas of Bayeux, Archbishop 

of York, 87 

Thoresby, Archbishop, 89 

Thornaby Church, 108 

Thorpe Salvin, Norman door- 
way, 128, 177 

Thwing Church, 125 

Tickhill Castle, 166, 240, 241, 242, 
249, 255, 261 

Church, in 

clerestory, 154 

eastern Lady Chapel, 152, 

Towers and spires, 157-160 

list of Saxon, 115 

Tower, York, Clifford's, 103, 253 
Multangular, 57, 80, 


Trinitarian Priory, Knares- 
borough, twelve bells of, 222 

" Twelve Governors " or " Keep- 
ers " of Beverley, 272 

VILLAGE Churches, 106-164 

WADDILOVE, Dean of Ripon, 223 

Wade's Causeway, 33-35 

Wakefield Cathedral, 152, 153 

Walls, York, 103 

Walmgate Bar, York, 103, 166 

Warmfield bell, 222 

Wath, near Masham, transeptal 

chapel, 146 
Wath-on-Dearne porch, 151 

thirteenth - century 

north transept, 146 

western aisle at, 141 

Watling Street, 14 
Weaverthorpe Church, 125 
Norman doorway, 167 

sundial at, 112 

tower, 118 

Well Church, near Wath, 147 
Wensley Church, 109, 152 


Wensleydale forest, 64, 66, 67 
West Gilling vaulted sacristy, 


Heslerton chancel, 142 

Tanfield tombs, 147 

Weston bell, near Otley, 224 
Whitby Church, 162 

St. Hilda's Abbey, 220 

" White Doe of Rylstone, The," 

Whorlton Castle, 260 

Church, 135 

Wighill Church, 185, 192 
Wilton in Cleveland Church, 108 
Window, York Minster, Bell- 
founders', 234 

Winestead, south aisle at, 133 

Witchcraft folk-lore, 301-302 

Wold churches, 163 

Newton south doorway, 


Womersley Church, 1 1 r 

Wooden church, York, dedi- 
cated to St. Peter, 84 

Worship, Roman, 39-44 

Wressel Castle, 259-261 

Wykeham Moor barrow, 2 

YARM Church, 108 
York and Canterbury, Arch- 
bishops of, 87-89 

and its Minster, 77-105 

Archbishop's palace, 103 

Baile Hill, 103 

Castle, 241 

Cathedral Church of St. 

Peter, 85 

Christ Church, Micklegate, 


Christianity in Roman, 49, 


Clifford's Tower, 103, 253 

early bishops of, 81-84 

Holy Trinity (alias Christ 

Church), 8 1 

Hospital of St. Peter, 85 

York, hymn to St. William of, 

massacre of Jews in, 103 

mediaeval houses of, 104 

Minster, 90-97 

Bell - founders' win- 

dow, 234 

Priests, 96 


College of Hundred 

of Vicars 

Choral, 95 

Horn of Ulphus, 94 

its constitution, 95 

its glass, 92, 93 

- Norman crypt, 178 
Scrope Mazer, 94 

Sepulchre's Chapel, 


St. William's College, 

96, 105 

moat, 103 

monastery of Galmanho, 


Multangular tower, 57, 80, 

Museum, tympanum in, 

nunneries in, zoo, 101 

ossuarium found in, 45 

Parish churches in, 97-99 

Priories in, 100, 101 

Roman pottery in, 50 

St. Margaret's Walmgate, 

Norman doorway, 165 

St. Mary's churches, 8r 

supposed Christian inscrip- 
tion at, 49, 80 

walls, 103 

William I.'s two castles at, 


wooden church dedicated 

to St. Peter, 84 

ZIGZAG or chevron ornament on 
doorways, 173, 174, 175, 176, 

Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON 6 s Co. 
Edinburgh dr" London 




Fallow, Thomas McCall (ed.) 
Memorials of old Yorkshire